The decision by builders to cancel the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is "disappointing" but "economically rational," Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said Monday after companies scrapped the 600-mile natural gas pipeline that had originally been planned in 2014.
Duke Energy Corp. and Dominion Energy Inc. announced Sunday they were pulling the plug.
"It’s a lost opportunity because of the number of jobs that would have been created in places like West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina," Brouillette told "Varney & Co." in his first interview following the companies' decision. "The other lost opportunity here is lower energy costs for all of the residents in North Carolina. So a very important decision by these two companies. Disappointing, but I understand it."
In a joint statement, the companies said: "Despite last month’s overwhelming 7-2 victory at the United States Supreme Court, which vindicated the project and decisions made by permitting agencies, recent developments have created an unacceptable layer of uncertainty and anticipated delays for [Atlantic Coast Pipeline]. A series of legal challenges to the project’s federal and state permits has caused significant project cost increases and timing delays."
Environmentalists celebrated the cancellation.
"Truly enormous: after powerful organizing by tens of thousands of great activists, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy throw in the towel and cancel Atlantic Coast Pipeline," Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org, a group that opposes the use of fossil fuels, wrote on Twitter. "Such thanks to those who fought."