The Atlantic Coast Pipeline gained formal support from EnergySure – Standing up for Reliable Energy, a diverse coalition made up of more than 100 businesses, labor organizations and other state, local and national groups.
EnergySure represents employees and associates from across Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina and — with this significant stakeholder participation from leading employers and business organizations across the three states — was formed to “stand up” for reliable energy. It also demonstrates the broad support for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a proposed 550-mile natural gas pipeline designed to meet growing energy needs in Virginia and North Carolina.
The Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Virginia State Building & Construction Trades, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation, NC Chamber, and the Research Triangle Regional Partnership are among 110 business and economic development organizations to join the EnergySure coalition. In doing so, they pledge support to be part of continued public dialogue on the urgent needs met by, and the significant benefits of, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
Over the next 20 years, the demand for natural gas as a fuel for power generation in Virginia and North Carolina is projected to more than triple. Meanwhile, older coal-fired power plants are scheduled for retirement – reducing capacity to generate electricity and creating an immediate need. Increased access to cleaner-burning natural gas is needed to make our region energy sure.
“Having the ability to bring low-cost, affordable, predictable energy to a part of the state that’s desperately in need of it is a big deal,” said Lew Ebert, president and CEO of the NC Chamber. “The opportunity to bring a new kind of energy to a part of the state that has really struggled over decades is a real economic plus.”
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline project is expected to generate significant economic benefits across the three-state region, including more than 17,000 jobs, $2.7 billion in economic activity and $4.2 million in average annual local tax revenue during construction.
In Virginia alone, construction will support 8,800 jobs and result in $1.4 billion in economic activity. Once in operation, the pipeline is expected to result in almost $38 million in economic activity, support 1,300 jobs and, by 2022, generate $10.4 million in local tax revenue in 13 counties and cities along the route. It also will provide opportunities for new business development and economic growth along the pipeline route.
“Virginia as a state needs more power than we can produce currently. Every region of Virginia will benefit from having an additional source of power and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline represents an opportunity to have that increased power supply,” said Barry DuVal, president and CEO of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce.
Steve White, director of the Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation, says the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will definitely benefit the economy in West Virginia in a number of ways. “The construction jobs are huge and significant. We’re talking maybe as much as a billion dollars of wages to be paid. Dominion and their partners have committed in writing to local construction workers to build this pipeline so we know with certainty that the pipeline will translate to local jobs, local paychecks, local families, and that’s what makes it a great deal for us.”
A recent poll commissioned by the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) showed registered voters in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina overwhelmingly support construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline by more than a 2-to-1 margin. Supporters cited jobs and the economy, the increased use of natural gas, energy independence, and lower natural gas prices as key reasons for their support.
(For more information, follow this link to the North American Oil & Gas Pipelines post about the polls.)
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline companies—Dominion, Duke Energy, Piedmont, and AGL Resources—are sponsoring the coalition to provide a platform for informed discussions about the project. These companies have millions of customers who depend on a reliable source of energy to power their businesses and heat their homes. The EnergySure coalition was created as a platform for their voices to be heard.