CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Dominion Energy is at the beginning of what could be a massive project to move Marcellus Shale natural gas from West Virginia to points south. The Southeast Reliability Pipeline Project is in the initial planning phase.

“We are at the very preliminary stages of the project. We are sending letters to land owners to let them know we’ll be on their property to survey, to identify the best route possible for the project,” explained Jim Norvelle, a spokesperson with Dominion.

The starting point for the pipeline would be in Harrison County. Norvelle said it’s still undecided which route the pipeline could take to make it to the Virginia state line and then into North Carolina, the final destination. He said it would add up to about 500 miles of pipeline.

“If we decide as a company to go forward with this project and we get all the permits we need from the federal government the construction could take into the 2016, 2017 and 2018 time period,” according to Norvelle.

Currently many nearby areas get their natural gas from the Gulf Coast. Norvelle said that could all change with this project.

“There are parts of this country, North Carolina, Virginia, parts of West Virginia, that are hungry to get some of this abundant natural gas into their territories, into their states, for economic development,” explained Norvelle.

The proposed pipe would measure 42-inches in diameter. That’s considered large in the natural gas industry. But Norvelle said every drop will be used, that’s how in demand natural gas will be by 2016.

The company went before the Lewis County Commission Tuesday to talk about the project and to assure landowners if they have any concerns they should contact Dominion.

Norvelle stressed,”We’ve got a while to go here. This is just beginning the conversation.”

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  • My land, my rules

    This is a property rights thing more than anything else. Dominion has pick the counties with either the lowest population or the worst economies to target so as to get the least opposition. What they did not count on is some of us realizing places like Nelson County rely on the natural beauty and our clean water for our economy to be sustained. It is all we really have as a sustainable draw. This pipeline will ruin it. You all may be talking about if the pipeline is more green, but who cares? this is taking peoples lively hoods. and before you say we will be paid for labor, all jobs surrounding this pipeline are being contracted in. They hid the project from the locals until the last moment, and as a result, the bid window for the contracts came and passed before any of us knew.

  • Aaron

    Hillboy said "I'm going to try this again as my last response disappeared into the ether."

    The comments are going silly today. They're not appearing in order and some are gone, come back and then disappear or go someplace again.

    As I said before, I have no problem with renewable energy but I believe we need to be realistic. Holistically, renewable s account for about 12% of our energy generation. Solar, for all the discussion is .11%, or about one tenth of one percent. To put that into perspective, biomass produces about 13 times the energy as solar and it only accounts for 1.42% of electrical generation. For anyone to claim that the reason that number is so low is because it is being held down is flawed at best.

    Spending so much on an energy source that provides so little is ludicrous in my opinion, particularly when there is so much negative information available regarding solar energy. I'm not advocating abandoning research and development of solar energy but I do believe we need to be honest in the discussion and not distort the subject as Jeff is doing.

  • Hillbilly

    For all us who own property in southern rural WV and pay for expensive propane or heating oil, BRING IT ON!!!

    • Bitmapped

      This is a transmission pipeline. You don't have access to natural gas at your home because of the distribution network. This project will do nothing to bring gas service to your home.

  • Cooter

    If you want to use renewable energy sources like solar, then you will need to build more powerlines to service the large solar farms. So then you would need to have right of ways for the powerlines just like the gas pipeline. Which is more obtrusive, overhead powerlines or underground gaslines?

  • GregG

    They should be required to pay the landowners a monthly per foot fee for the use of their property. But that will never happen. We all know that Big Business never compensates the little man.

    • The bookman

      Actually, the little man is exactly who would suffer. The rates of public utilities are controlled by Public Service Commissions, and this additional cost would come into play in determining that rate. Yes, the landowner would get paid, but it would be paid through the collected rates of millions of consumers. Lots of little guys.

  • Aaron

    Natural gas is going to get to processing plants one way or another. If it is not by pipe then it will be by barge, rail or truck. The cheapest, easiest and SAFEST way is via pipeline.

  • Chris1529

    Landowners only get compensated one time for the pipeline right of way. If the companies had to pay the landowners a percentage based on the amount of gas the pipeline transports, it would be a better situation.

    • The bookman

      Yep. 500 mile pipeline through countless pieces of private property, each landowner collecting revenue across the life of the line based on volume delivered. Can you imagine the impact to the ratepayers being served by the utility? A fair and reasonable right of way payment and a general respect for property is all that is required. Fleecing a gas company never impacts their bottom line. It is always incurred by the ratepayers.

      • Chris1529

        Just like a toll road. If you want to drive on the road, pay the toll. If you want to transport your gas across my property, you pay a fee. Who cares if the cost is passed on? It that is spread out over a few million customers, it would be a very small line on your bill. We probably already pay a transport fee, so a little more isn't going to hurt to help out the landowners.

        • The bookman

          In your world of the everlasting handout, would your novel approach include high tension electrical lines, telephone and cable lines, water and sewer lines?

          • The bookman

            So, who negotiates the price? The landowner? What happens when the utility and the property owner can't come to terms? Progress is a wonderful thing, and it waits for no one. Extreme actions by the government over imminent domain I am against. Compensation to the property owner for property loss and/or damage is certainly justified and demanded. But I think you go a bit far to add on with a severance payment for winning a lottery by purchasing a piece of property between point A and point B, the winnings of which would be paid by your neighbors.

          • GregG

            May I answer that question bookman.......damn right!!! I own my property, I pay the taxes and insurance on my property and I pay the expense of maintaining my property. Let the landowner play the "capitalism" card....You know.... Capitalism..... an economic system in which trade, industry, and the means of production are controlled by private owners with the goal of making profits in a market economy. I'm the private owner of MY land and I wish to make a profit from any industry that wishes to use my land for THEIR profits. I don't call that a handout, I call it "free market". If John Doe industry does not want to pay for the use of my property then they are "free" to divert there pipelines and cables in a cheaper direction. See how that works?

  • The Answer

    Jeff, I must be an exception, I have 2 of Chesapeake's main lines running across my property.
    I' ve owned this place for over 40 years and they been nothing but good to me.

  • vh

    Build the pipeline for national security. Less dependence on foreign supplies.

  • Mr.P

    There goes more JOBS!!

  • Pickle Barrel

    The environazis will pull out all the stops to kill this project as they have with the Keystone XL pipeline.

  • Jeff

    Yes, pipeline projects have gone swimmingly so far. Read up on the latest bluegrass pipeline that would have actually terminated in Gulf. If you cannot fathom all the drawbacks of having a huge pipeline through your backyard, not to mention borderline illegal land acquisition practices, go ahead and sign it over.

  • Jeff

    Oh God, I hear the "energy independence" and "jobs" propaganda machines spinning up.

    Do yourselves a favor and kick these surveyors off your property

    • Beekeeper

      Newsflash, if you kick the surveyors of your property they can come back with an escort from law enforcement. Surveyors have a legal right of entry, they just have to notify the property owner.

    • The bookman

      Oh come on Jeff. I thought you would be all for this. How else will we transition from coal, that dirty rock, to Natural Gas? Gotta have that pipeline. Or are you clinging to the pipe dream of renewables keeping the lights on next year?

      • Aaron

        Only the truly uneducated could possibly believe that renewable energy sources have the capability to supply the needed energy for American consumers.

        • Grace Adams

          If the federal government would put $1 billion into a pilot project enhanced geothermal system (the geothermal out west in California taps into very hot water already there underground), there are enough dry hot rocks under West Virginia to produce about 40% of West Virginia's current electric power production, once developed. If the federal government would hire drilling and fracking rigs and crews already in West Virginia on the payroll of one of West Virginia's coal firms for the top layer of hot rock reservoirs for such an enhanced geothermal system and then turn the project over to that coal firm for re-drilling to make hot rock reservoirs further down, I feel that coal firm could live with that situation. $1 billion for a pilot project was estimated in MIT's "The Future of Enhanced Geothermal Systems" c 2007 for a 50MW project to be done over 2 years. Drilling and fracking technology has improved since then. Probably enough that using the income from selling geothermal steam to an electric utility from the first 2 years results to help pay for another 2 years and so on as far as to make a big enough project to replace a good-sized coal-fired generator and leave money left to start another such project.

        • Jeff

          You're right, there's no way fossil fuel interests would spend time and money blocking distributed solar across the country...oh wait...

          • Hillboy

            Bookman, from what I remember reading there were some researchers early on who estimated that the amount of CH4 leaked from new wells put NG power plants about equal with CFPPs with regard to GHGs. More recent articles have downgraded the amount of CH4 leaked compared to the earlier reports---not that it isn't still an issue. That plus the generally higher efficiency of NG power plants does appear to indicate that you come out ahead with NG.

          • The bookman


            You mentioned something in a previous post, and while reading some background information on the GHG rules, it registered again. The release of CH4 in the extraction process may negate the emission benefits of NG as the combustion fuel for power plants. If that is the case, how will any state comply with a cap if they can't rely on NG to take coal's load?

          • Hillboy

            I'm going to try this again as my last response disappeared into the ether.

            The gram equivalent of CO2/kwh for coal power plants is in the vicinity of 1000. For solar PV it is around 30 to 40. So, you can debate how much GHGs solar generates but it's not going to be anywhere in the neighborhood of that emitted by coal or gas.

            Distributed solar I think would take off if net metering were restructured. Instead of fighting net metering, power companies should be allowing unlimited production by home and business owners. Currently, power companies will not pay for surplus. Using myself as an example, even though I have a rooftop with unobstructed southern exposure it would not pay for me to install solar because my family doesn't use enough electricity. If I could get paid for surplus I would do it. However, I think the power companies need to get at least a slight discount on the electricity produced by homeowners so that the power company and the homeowner both profit.

            Storage problems, by the way, are not exclusive to solar. All electricity generators have an issue with storage due to the variation in demand during the day.

          • Aaron


            The amount of gases released is debatable. While some list it as minor, others say the release is more widespread than reported. And that doesn't take into consideration the other negative impacts I've listed.

            I'm not against renewable energy. I think we can do more with hydro, particularly with 'run of the river' plants like the one currently being installed near Willow Island, wind and Biomass. And while I agree that solar has a place, there is a reason it is the least used renewable energy source. Until those issues are addressed, it will continue to be the least used source.

          • Hillboy

            Aaron, if you look at the amount of energy produced by a solar panel and the amount of GHGs released during the production of the solar panel and calculate the GHG potential produced per kilowatt hour of power generated it is a small fraction of that produced by coal or natural gas power plants per kWH.

            Yes, some of the chemicals used to make solar panels are potent GHGs, but only a small percentage is leaked to the atmosphere. Most is recycled for reuse. The small amount of gases released by solar panel manufacturing does not compare with the billions of tons of CO2 emitted annually by fossil fuel plants.

            That is not to say that solar and other renewables can replace fossil fuels in the short term, but we could get more out of renewables than we currently are.

          • Aaron

            Solar is no more widespread used because it is simply not a viable alternative. It is as simple as that Jeff. Until you address the toxic gases released in production, the problems with energy storage, the cost of installing panels, and the overall deficiencies of solar, you're blowing hot air. As such you're a more viable source of energy then solar. If only you could bag and sale your puffery.

          • Roger


            You should know by now the quickly growing amount of "uneducated" people are in this state. And people want to know why this state has a hard time attracting quaility jobs to the state.

          • Jeff

            All I said is someone(s) with a lot more money and interest than you disagrees and is worried.

          • Aaron

            The production of solar panels produces gases that are far more harmful to the environment than CO2. It's costly, unproven, unreliable, cannot be stored and in no way can generate the energy needed to meet our demands.

            As I said, only be ineducated believe that renewable energy can replace fossil fuels.

    • ViennaGuy

      Why? Why shouldn't landowners make some money off of this pipeline if it sees fruition?