Buffett's Berkshire to Buy Dominion Energy Gas Assets for $4B

Andrew Cummings
July 6, 2020

Berkshire ended March with 137.2 billion US dollars of cash, reflecting Buffett's four-year inability to find major acquisitions, even as the coronavirus pandemic took hold and stock prices plunged.

A third partner in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Southern Company, sold its small stake in the project earlier this year to Dominion, the lead developer.

"This announcement reflects the increasing legal uncertainty that overhangs large-scale energy and industrial infrastructure development in the United States", Farrell and Good said.

U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette says the decision to cancel the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is disappointing due to the number of jobs that it would have created. Those needs are as real today as they were at project inception as evidenced by the recently renewed customer subscription of approximately 90 percent of the project's capacity.

"It's a lost opportunity because of the number of jobs that would have been created in places like West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina", Brouillette told "Varney & Co." in his first interview following the companies' decision.

The transaction does not include Dominion's interest in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

The announcement was unexpected because the utilities had just won a key decision before the US Supreme Court.

Reaction poured in from the project's opponents, who lauded the decision to cancel it. The concept of one district court judge paralyzing the construction of pipelines across our country is very disconcerting. "We should and must not quit fights like these".

The companies said a recent pair of court rulings that have thrown into question a permitting program used around the nation to approve oil and gas pipelines and other utility work through wetlands and streams presented "new and serious challenges". The coalition argues, without a stay to block its enforcement, the order will immediately disrupt the economy at an already precarious time as the projects - and the energy resources they provide - are critical to each state.

The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, said in 2018 that the US Forest Service lacked the authority to grant a right of way for the pipeline where it runs under the AT in the national forest land because the trail was overseen by the National Park Service.

"Lumbee leaders have scored a tremendous victory in stopping this fossil fuel pipeline", tweeted the Indigenous Environmental Network, referring to the North Carolina tribe that helped lead opposition to the pipeline.

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