Following years of widespread grassroots opposition led by vulnerable local communities and national environmental organizations, two U.S. energy behemoths on Sunday abruptly cancelled the planned Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a sprawling project that would have transported dirty fracked gas along a 600-mile route through West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina.
“Today is a historic victory for clean water, the climate, public health, and our communities,” said Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune. “Duke and Dominion did not decide to cancel the Atlantic Coast Pipeline—the people and frontline organizations that led this fight for years forced them into walking away. Today’s victory reinforces that united communities are more powerful than the polluting corporations that put profits over our health and future.”
Duke and Dominion’s decision to pull the plug on the increasingly costly project came even after the Supreme Court delivered the companies a major victory last month by removing a regulatory hurdle in the way of the $8 billion pipeline, which would have cut through two national forests, tunneled under the Appalachian Trail, and crossed Indigenous lands.
“Lumbee leaders have scored a tremendous victory in stopping this fossil fuel pipeline,” tweeted the Indigenous Environmental Network, referring to the North Carolina tribe that helped lead opposition to the pipeline.