Spectra suspends mid-Atlantic pipeline to the sea

Pipeline objections from landowners, taxpayers, local and state government agencies, environmental groups, and historical societies caused mighty Spectra to “suspend” its unnamed $4 billion methane pipeline from Pennsylvania fracking grounds through Virginia to Duke Energy plants near the sea in North Carolina. Similar opposition can make Spectra and Williams and FPL and Duke think again about their proposed $3 billion Transco -> Sabal Trail -> FSC hundred-foot gouge through Alabama, Georgia, and Florida to three already-authorized LNG export operations in Florida.

This was apparently the first report, by John Bruce, for The Recorder of Monterey, Highland County, Virginia, 7 August 2014, Spectra suspends pipeline proposal,

MONTEREY — The proposed northsouth Spectra Energy Pipeline Project is on hold. “Spectra Energy is suspending its development work on the proposed Carolina project,” Spectra spokesman Arthur Diestel said. “However, we will be analyzing other opportunities in the region.”

Piedmont Environmental Council sent this 11 August 2014, Email Alert: Spectra Gas Pipeline Suspended,

Dear Supporter,

There may be some welcome news on the proposed Spectra Energy gas pipeline. Late last week, a company representative was quoted in a Highland County newspaper as saying:

“Spectra Energy is suspending its development work on the proposed [project]… We will continue to evaluate opportunities in the region which could include the study corridor in your area, and should there be developments, we will keep you informed.”

While this announcement doesn't mean Spectra is gone for good, it is definitely a positive sign for citizens in our region. We believe that this communities' individual and collective response to the proposal impacted Spectra's decision to re-evaluate.


Immediately after learning about the project, PEC sent letters to landowners along the route and organized community meetings. This helped generate letters from potentially affected landowners, as well as communications from interested parties like the Department of Interior and Montpelier and the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. It's important to keep those letters going in and be ready for Round 2 should it be necessary!

Unfortunately, we know that Spectra is still interested in building a pipeline through Virginia. The Spectra representative said one option they are considering is partnering with Dominion on its Dominion Southeast Reliability Project — a project we will be responding to with our partners to the south and west.

Stay tuned for any updates.


Dan Holmes
Director of State Policy
The Piedmont Environmental Council

PEC has much more on their website about opposition to that pipeline.

Spectra hasn’t made this project easy to track by not giving it a name, calling it only “Spectra Energy Pipeline Project”. Spectra’s excuses sound just like Putin and Gazprom for their doomed South Stream Russia-around-Ukraine pipeline, “The South Stream project is aimed at strengthening the European energy security.” As Spectra puts it:

in response to growing market needs in the Mid and South Atlantic regions by the fourth quarter of 2018. Additional pipeline infrastructure would benefit these regions by bringing additional supplies and new energy infrastructure to support the growing demand for clean-burning natural gas, both for power generation and for local distribution to consumers. The proposed Spectra Energy Pipeline Project, if advanced, would increase energy diversity, security and reliability to these markets.

This newly proposed underground pipeline would help reduce emissions for existing and proposed electric generation, and would positively impact the economy of the Mid and South Atlantic region by supplying affordable, clean natural gas to all the states along the proposed study corridor being evaluated, specifically Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. The proposed Spectra Energy Pipeline Project, if advanced, would also create significant jobs during planning, construction and development, as well as add capital investment and tax base to all five states.

Yeah, right, and a pony, too. Meanwhile, already last November there were more U.S. jobs in solar than in coal, or in non-managerial oil and gas extraction.

Jeff Say wrote only a month ago for the Culpeper Star-Exponent 17 July 2014, Central Virginia residents voice concerns over Spectra gas pipeline,

“That’s a nice request,” [PEC spokesman Robert] Marmat said. “They’re saying, ‘Mother, may I?’ You, as a property owner, have the right to say, ‘No, no you may not.’ I urge you, if you’ve gotten a letter from Spectra, to speak to an attorney.”

Some landowners in Mitchell County, GA hired a good attorney, and Spectra hobbled back to Houston with no eminent domain decision and bound by strict restrictions on surveying even that one property. If enough landowners say Come and Take It about the Sabal Trail pipeline, Spectra may just decide it’s not profitable and limp back to Houston for good.

But beware! NIMBY is not enough. Just getting a pipeline out of your neighborhood doesn’t mean it won’t come back somewhere else where your taxes will have to pay for leaks or explosions and LNG export could still run up domestic natural gas prices while delaying deployment of clean, safe, inexpensive solar power. Graelyn Brashear wrote for c-ville 12 August 2014, Spectra suspends pipeline proposal,

Spectra spokesman Arthur Diestel did not offer a reason for the project suspension, and said the company “will be analyzing other opportunities in the region.”

Analyze this: Not On Our Planet Ever (NOOPE)!


7 thoughts on “Spectra suspends mid-Atlantic pipeline to the sea

    1. Yes this is the same pipeline that several townships etc. banned in 2014. They are back! Go away Spectra with your dangerous and destructive pipeline for exporting for the sole profit of your company and investors. Now Spectra wants to run through our citizen owned National Forest! No way. Go home Spectra and take your money bearing ‘henchmen’ to pay off local officials with you! Keep it in the ground — oil and gas. We do not need oil or gas as renewable energy sources abound and are safer for the citizens, aquifers and environment. We should be transitioning using these safer energy sources. These first pipelines are already leading to many more offshoots as well as transportation via train (train bombs) and trucking – especially with Strom’s LNG and gas processing terminal located just next to the failed (but having to be maintained) Nuclear Plant in Crystal river. A vary dangerous location as natural gas does blow up and that happening next to a Nuke plant already damaged is not a good idea.

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