Hedge fund investors need the ACP — and no one else. 

Now that federal regulators have approved construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to resume, expect the usual, baseless claims from industry activists to resurface. Don’t buy it. Halting construction was the right thing to do.

We know about the project’s economic pitfalls, how gas creates the fewest jobs of any energy source, the billions of dollars it will siphon out of the state just to keep the lights on. But overlooked is how gas is unduly expensive per kilowatt hour. Solar energy — with 24/7 grid-scale battery backup, without subsidies, has been cheaper than gas in North Carolina since at least 2015.

North Carolinians already spend nearly $3,000 annually on energy. For those in poverty, that’s at least 25 percent of their take-home income. Tying the state’s future to frack gas won't help. It will destroy one of rural North Carolina’s greatest growth opportunities, the burgeoning green energy sector, which adds thousands of jobs per year. These jobs are concentrated in the state’s rural areas.

North Carolina’s energy demand has flattened, even as our economy grows, due to efficiency gains. Natural gas is also a poor fit for North Carolina’s industries: farming, timber, manufacturing, and biorefining. The sense of urgency to complete the ACP belongs to one group only, fracking investors. The cheapest wells in their frack fields are drying up, and they need marks to sell gas to as it grows ever more costly to drill.

Enough smokescreens. North Carolina is ready to make its own way.

Dr. Sarah Taber, Fayetteville