Category Archives: Economy

Hiring Impact Called Short Term

A November 18, 2017, article in the Buckhannon WV Record Delta is titled “Pipeline starting April 1.” It begins, “Construction on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project is expected to begin on April 1, 2018, and that is not an April Fool’s joke. Mike Cozad, a third-party contractor for ACP, came to the Upshur County Commission’s weekly meeting Thursday to provide commissioners with a timeline and update on the building of the 42-inch, 600-mile natural gas pipeline that will extend from Harrison County, West Virginia to Robeson County, North Carolina.”

The article notes that out-of-state people working for the ACP or it’s contractors are already arriving, as the vanguard of the expected influx in March 2018. “In the latter part of March, you’ll see a whole lot of people coming in here and getting set up with the anticipated start date (of construction) 1 April 2018. Prior to that, we will be dropping trees, but that’s a much smaller impact – they’re just going out, felling the trees and moving on. …. Each construction spread will be 400 to 600 people, depending on the contractor.”

Also at the County Commissioner’s weekly meeting was April Pierson-Keating, a member of Mountain Lakes Preservation Alliance. She pointed out “a few things that might counter the rosy picture that Dominion (ACP) is painting of this project. There are numerous permits that this pipeline still needs. The certification from FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) is being challenged by several community groups and then lawyer groups that are helping them take the case.”

She reminded the Commissioners (and Mr. Cozad) that North Carolina’s Department of Environmental Quality has not yet issued Section 401 Water Quality Certification to ACP, and that ACP/Dominion contractors won’t necessarily hire Upshur County workers, but rather, employees from other counties in West Virginia or elsewhere. And, she said, “We believe that the tax money that is going to be coming in and the few jobs that are going to be going to West Virginians are offset by lower property values, damage to the water and long-term damage to our economy in terms of tourism and other things. I’m not asking you to do anything today. I’m just trying to provide a counter and a balance to the happy-dappy, rosy picture and also to let you know that there are a lot of permits outstanding, there are hearings and trials coming up, so the timeline they expect may be pushed back.”

Mr. Cozad, the contractor for the ACP, actually agreed that most benefits would be short term, saying, “The bigger impact is going to be short term, of course, while construction is going on. There will still be some long-term jobs, but she’s correct that the number’s probably not that much. They are intending to hire as many local people as possible. They may come from other counties, but they are, in my mind, local people.”

Few local jobs, especially few long-term jobs – just as we’ve been saying here in Virginia!

Fumes Across the Fence Line


A report released on November 14, 2017, by the NAACP says, “African American and other environmental justice communities face heavy burdens because of the millions of pounds of hazardous emissions released by the oil and gas industry each year.”

The report is Fumes Across the Fence Line: The Health Impacts of Air Pollution from Oil & Gas Facilities on African American Communities. “The life-threatening burdens placed on communities of color near oil and gas facilities are the result of systemic oppression perpetuated by the traditional energy industry, which exposes communities to health, economic, and social hazards. Communities impacted by oil and gas facility operations remain affected due to energy companies’ heavy polluting, low wages for dangerous work, and government lobbying against local interests.”

Who Will Get the Money?

Why does Dominion Energy want customers to pay at least $1.5 billion for a new pipeline?

For Dominion Energy, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a sweet deal. For Virginians, it’s a scam. The state already has plenty of pipeline capacity, and Dominion has shown no evidence that it needs more. So why does Dominion want customers to pay at least $1.5 billion for a new pipeline?

On the National Resources Defense Council’s Web page, you can click to send a letter to members of the Virginia State Water Control Board opposing certification of the proposed Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley Pipelines.

End of the Line: Episode 7, Necessity


End of the Line podcasts cover conflicts over pipeline construction in Virginia and other mid-Atlantic states. A week prior to the original air date of of Episode 7: Necessity, FERC granted the “Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity” for both the Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast Pipelines. What does this mean for pipeline fighters, and more importantly, are these pipeline projects really needed in order to meet energy demand for the Mid-Atlantic? In this episode, we get a lesson in the history of energy demand in the United States, plus a look at what is really driving energy holding companies to get into the pipeline building business.

Have you missed previous episodes? Find links to all of them here.

NRDC Outlines 10 Reasons to Stop MVP and ACP

In an October 23, 2017, blog post, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says, “The National Environmental Policy Act requires that agencies undertake a robust analysis of reasonable alternatives before making a decision about a proposed project. In the case of these two pipelines, it’s been clear since the beginning that there are cleaner, safer, less destructive, and less expensive alternatives available.  Our list of concerns about these two pipelines is long, but here is an overview of the top ten, with more details to come in future blog posts.”

The top ten list is below – see the NRDC post for detailed explanations of each of the ten.

  • Corporate self-dealing
  • No documented need for either pipeline
  • Consumers will pay for these pipelines
  • No analysis of reasonable alternatives
  • No consideration of existing excess pipeline capacity
  • There will be severe risks to clean water
  • There are serious threats to air quality
  • Countless dangers for forests, endangered species, fish nurseries, and public lands that are used for recreation and other purposes
  • Environmental justice is at risk
  • Farmers and other landowners will lose their land