Thursday, September 04, 2014

Virginia Governor McAuliffe Supports Gas Pipeline Proposal

Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D), left, on Tuesday unveiled plans for a 550-mile natural gas pipeline through three states. A consortium of companies led by Dominion Resources will spend up to $5 billion to build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina, which supporters said will initially create 8,800 jobs.  Dominion Resources, EVP Distribution Operations, AGL Resources and Virginia Natural Gas will jointly build the pipeline.

The Center supports the proposal.

McAuliffe and other supporters of the Virginia pipeline said the infrastructure improvement will prevent spikes in energy bills during severe weather, lure heavy manufacturing to the state and give Virginia what McAuliffe called “direct access to the most affordable natural gas supply in the United States.”

As proposed, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would bring natural gas to growing markets in Virginia and North Carolina. It would run through more than a dozen counties in Virginia, cutting a rural swath from Highland County in the northwest down through some of the most populous counties of Hampton Roads in the southeast. Proponents say the pipeline will allow Dominion, who has coal plants that are 50, 60 years old, which they plan on shutting down — to reduce emissions.

To reconcile the environmental concerns with the energy industry proposal, the governor believes policy trumps politics. He said the project will create thousands of jobs, reduce energy costs for Virginians and speed the closing of aging coal plants.labor leaders agree.

After the six-year construction phase, it is estimated that about 217 jobs will be necessary to maintain the pipeline. It is estimated to generate $14.6 million annually in tax revenue for the state. No state money will be used.  (Wash Post, 9/2/2014)

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