News | February 2, 2024

Transcontinental announces the South’s largest pipeline project in a decade

SELC is working to stop harmful gas pipelines and plants. We’re pushing the adoption of cleaner energy solutions that don’t carry the enormous costs and risks of gas.

The Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Company has announced the largest pipeline project on the East Coast in a decade since the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline.  

The Southeast Supply Enhancement project proposed by the company — also known as Williams — would run from Virginia to Alabama, moving up to 1.5 billion cubic feet of methane gas per day, which is enough to power five or six new large, combined cycle plants. For reference, the failed ACP project would have moved the same volume of methane gas.

Natural gas — methane — isn’t some climate elixir. It’s just another dirty fossil fuel that pollutes communities and heats up the planet.

Greg Buppert, Senior Attorney

This development is particularly alarming for SELC’s region, as the expansion will impact five of our six states and burden communities with more polluting infrastructure and land disturbance. Transcontinental has already approached landowners to give away more of their property to make space for this expansion project.    

“The gas-fired fever dream gripping the South is completely at odds with the need to decarbonize how we get our energy,” said Greg Buppert, senior attorney and leader of SELC’s regional gas team. “Natural gas — methane — isn’t some climate elixir. It’s just another dirty fossil fuel that pollutes communities and heats up the planet.”  

This new pipeline, coupled with a significant expansion of new methane gas-fired power plants monopoly utilities are planning to add by 2036, puts critically important climate reduction goals even further out of reach. It would also mean even more polluting infrastructure that harms frontline communities and routinely leads to methane leaks and explosions.   

The expansion will also dramatically escalate the rush by Southern utilities to build new gas plants, locking our region into a generational investment in gas while undermining cleaner and more affordable renewable energy options, hindering grid reliability, and driving up energy costs at a time when many families are already struggling to stay on top of monthly bills. 

Methane is bad for our Southern environment.

The proposed pipeline expansion may also supply liquid natural gas for export, which the Biden administration paused last week due to concerns about climate impacts and costs to U.S. consumers.  

The company filed its proposal late yesterday with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. While there are many details that remain unknown, SELC will continue to vigilantly follow developments around this risky project.