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Duke Energy Needs ‘Plan B’ If Atlantic Coast Pipeline Fails, CEO Says

Rachel Adams-Heard, Christopher Martin and Alix Steel
Duke Energy Needs ‘Plan B’ If Atlantic Coast Pipeline Fails, CEO Says

(Bloomberg) -- Duke Energy Corp. will need another way to shuttle natural gas to customers in the U.S. Southeast if the troubled Atlantic Coast shale pipeline fails to overcome legal setbacks, Chief Executive Officer Lynn Good said.

“Atlantic Coast pipeline was sized and designed with a time frame to meet the needs of our customers,” Good said Monday in an interview with Bloomberg Television at the BNEF Summit in New York.

That time frame is in limbo after a federal appeals court vacated key permits that allowed the pipeline to cross the Appalachian Trail, a decision lead developer Dominion Energy Inc. is planning to appeal to the Supreme Court. Atlantic Coast has seen its start date pushed back several times and its price tag balloon to as much as $7.5 billion. Construction has been stopped since late last year.

If the embattled conduit fails to prevail, a potential Plan B could include a pipeline that would run from eastern to western North Carolina, versus north-to-south, Good said, adding that the company “remains committed” to completing Atlantic Coast.

The 600-mile (966-kilometer) project isn’t the only pipeline out of America’s hottest shale gas play facing backlash. EQM Midstream Partners LP has said the company is closely watching Atlantic Coast’s legal battles to see if there’s any impact to its Mountain Valley pipeline, which has also been ensnared in court battles.

To contact the reporters on this story: Rachel Adams-Heard in Houston at radamsheard@bloomberg.net;Christopher Martin in New York at cmartin11@bloomberg.net;Alix Steel in New York at asteel6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Simon Casey at scasey4@bloomberg.net, Carlos Caminada, Reg Gale

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