Three Fine Letters

Three fine letters in the January 31, 2019, Nelson County Times address a January 24 article (an article not a letter) supporting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, saying “saying it will bring jobs to younger generations and create revenue to ensure the county continues.”

In Dominion’s job-creation myths, Joe Madison points out that by Dominion’s own admission there will be no meaningful post-construction pipeline jobs in the county, and almost all of the construction jobs will be held by out-of-state workers who travel the length of the line.

In Pipeline a thing of the past, Jane Twitmyer cites Bloomberg data to show the ways that the ACP will keep Virginia in the past rather than allowing the commonwealth to move forward into a future with a modern energy system.

Finally, in ACP can’t deliver on promises, Helen Kimble, President of Friends of Nelson, says, “Atlantic Coast Pipeline opponents and our neighbors who support the project share at least some of the same goals. Like the proponents, those who oppose the project also want a healthy county economy that provides good jobs and enables the young people who want to stay in Nelson to do so. However, we differ strongly about how to achieve those goals. We view the ACP as a threat to one of the state’s fastest growing rural economies.”

Kimble quotes Dominion data saying there would be 271 jobs spread over three states during the planned six-year development and construction phase, and many of those, as well as all of the construction jobs, would go to out-of-state contractors with special skills. If the ACP is built, Wintergreen will not build its planned hotel and conference center, nor would developers build Spruce Creek Resort and Market – immediate proximity of the ACP to both projects would kill them. “Taken together, the Wintergreen hotel and Spruce Creek resort represent $75 million in investments, $23.5 million to $32 million in annual revenue and at least 250 new full-time tourism jobs, according to Friends of Wintergreen. For Nelson’s younger generation, those jobs could help them develop their business skills and gain entry into the worldwide, multi-billion dollar tourism industry.”  During construction, “some motels, gas stations, speedy marts, dollar stores and fast food places would get a temporary boost in their businesses, but that boost is small compared to the revenue from a single week during a good ski season.”

Kimble notes the expensive damage to roads by construction vehicles (who would pay to repair?) and the ever-present danger of pipeline failure. “In 2018 alone, 12 gas pipelines ruptured nationwide. In at least two cases, brand new pipelines failed because of soil movement following heavy rains. With the ACP route traversing Nelson’s steep slopes, there is a good chance that something similar could happen here.”

She concludes, “Building the ACP is not the right way to reach the goals its proponents seek. The ACP is an economic loser and environmental threat for Nelson County.”

Read all three letters here.