July 5 (UPI) -- The energy companies behind the Atlantic Coast Pipeline announced their intention to cancel the project on Sunday, citing the cost of the project and regulatory hurdles.
Duke Energy and Dominion Energy said Sunday they have abandoned the proposed $8 billion pipeline which was first announced in 2014 and would have carried natural gas 600 miles through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina as well as underneath the Appalachian Trail.
Dominion said it has agreed to sell its gas transmission and storage segment assets to an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway for $9.7 billion, including assuming $5.7 billion in existing debt.
"This announcement reflects the increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States," Duke and Dominion Energy said in a joint statement. "Until these issues are resolved, the ability to satisfy the country's energy needs will be significantly challenged. "
Last month the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 to overturn a lower court ruling that found the U.S. Forest Service did not have the authority to grant a special-use permit to allow construction of the pipeline below the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
The companies cited a decision by the United States District Court for the District of Montana overturning long-standing federal permit authority for a waterbody, which they said is likely to prompt similar challenges to permits in other courts.
"This new information and litigation risk, among other continuing execution risks, make the project too uncertain to justify investing more shareholder capital," the companies said.