Letter to the Editor: Ratepayers will pay costs of ACP
Saturday, January 5, 2019
Because Duke Energy is a regulated monopoly and has captured the State Utilities Commission, we ratepayers in North Carolina will be forced to pay for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline regardless of whether we or our communities get any gas or other benefits from it.
Duke is guaranteed a profit regardless of what the pipeline costs, and in fact will make more profits now that the cost has risen from the original $5 billion estimate to $7 billion. Dominion, which owns hundreds of miles of pipeline in South Carolina, as well as a major utility there (South Carolina Electric and Gas) has repeatedly said it wants the ACP extended into South Carolina and likely will ship a lot of the ACP gas to China and Europe from the Elba Island LNG export terminal in Savannah. They can sell the gas abroad for a lot more money than they can charge in the U.S.
So we, the ratepayers of North Carolina — including me who lives near Asheville 250 miles away from the pipeline — will pay for a pipeline that primarily benefits the wealthy executives and shareholders of Duke and Dominion. (Duke's CEO, Lynn Good, last year made $20 million.)
It’s a very, very good deal for them, and we the ratepayers, in Nash County and elsewhere, will end up being impoverished.