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Opponents: Pipeline's defeat 'a testament to perseverance'

SeattlePI.com Tuesday, 7 July 2020
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Richard Averitt and his wife have spent six years and more than six figures fighting to keep the Atlantic Coast Pipeline off their picturesque central Virginia property.

In all that time, Averitt said he couldn't recall meeting a single person who thought they would succeed. The massive interstate natural gas pipeline designed to start in West Virginia and run at least through Virginia and North Carolina was being developed by some of the country's biggest and most politically powerful energy companies with support of lawmakers and governors from both parties, labor unions and the Trump administration.

But on Sunday, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy announced they had pulled the plug on the $8 billion project, citing uncertainties about costs, permitting and litigation.

When Averitt found out, he rushed to his parents' nearby home to share the news. He and his family popped a bottle of Champagne and shouted from their front porch in delight.

“It was a fight worth winning," said Averitt, who now wants to restart stalled plans to develop some of the land into a resort.

Environmental advocates and other opponents of the ACP called the decision to scrap the project a historic David-beats-Goliath win that — along with a recent blow to the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline — marks a turning point in the climate fight, illustrating the time has passed for energy companies to invest in massive fossil fuel infrastructure projects.

“The Atlantic Coast Pipeline was an anvil that would have stymied investment in renewable energy for decades, harmed vulnerable communities, and crushed mountainsides,” Greg Buppert, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, which for the past six years has represented conservation groups opposing the...
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Opponents: Pipeline’s defeat ‘a testament to perseverance’

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Richard Averitt and his wife have spent six years and more than six figures fighting to keep the Atlantic Coast Pipeline off their...
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