Over the weekend, the American energy sector suffered a major setback as the developers of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) announced the project’s cancellation due to higher than expected costs caused by an excessive permitting process and a deluge of frivolous litigation. An article in the Pittsburgh Business Times highlighted the impact its termination will have on a similar infrastructure project, the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) but also touches on how it will affect existing energy infrastructure in the northeast, including the Commonwealth.
The economic impact delays and cancellations like this have on multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects is irreparable as billions are lost and thousands lose employment. PEIA spokesperson Kurt Knaus commented, “It is catastrophic in terms of the billions of dollars in investments that are lost and the thousands of jobs that are gone. And this sudden jolt to the market comes at a time when our national economy could use a lift. The entire Appalachian region will feel the effects over the long term until other energy interstates open up to get our gas to market.”
Pennsylvania’s investment in energy has opened the Commonwealth’s energy sector to New England, the Mid-Atlantic and other regions who are still in great need of these resources. With the cancellation of Atlantic Coast, projects such as Mariner East and the Shell Cracker are even more important to get across the finish line. The Atlantic Sunrise pipeline was recently put in operation, while the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex continues to undergo a full transformation to expand capacity as a regional hub for processing, storage, and transport of these products to market.
The termination of Atlantic Coast is a undoubtedly a blow to the American energy sector. Streamlined permitting and a check on legal maneuvers pushed by anti-pipeline activists with deep-pocketed funders both domestically and abroad, are necessary if we truly want efficient, reliable, low-cost energy.