ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS LOOKING TO FURTHER HURT APPALACHIAN JOBS

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Natural gas is a growing market. It is cheaper than any other viable fuel source and is considered abundant. Dominion Power, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources has proposed a 550 mile long pipeline that goes from West Virginia to North Carolina. There are 22 environmentalist groups wanting to kill the proposal, though it would bring jobs and allow for companies to expand.

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What the pipeline will do

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Here, via Dominion Power’s website, is what benefits the pipeline will bring.

The benefits of natural gas are clear. The newfound abundance of domestic supplies has made it a low-cost energy source that is decreasing the nation’s dependence on foreign imports. When burned, natural gas produces significantly lower emissions than coal, including just half the carbon.

The pipeline would provide a dependable supply of natural gas for electric utilities in the region looking to use natural gas as a cleaner option to generate electricity. It also would help local gas utilities serve their customers with a new, reliable source of supply, and permit businesses to build or expand their operations.

Here, via Ecana’s website, is what natural gas is used for.

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Natural gas is a versatile energy source. It has many applications in our daily lives including:

  • domestic uses like home heating and cooling, cooking, fuel for transportation

  • steam heat production

  • electrical generation

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  • manufacturing and industrial uses like producing steel, glass, forest products, clothing, cement, fertilizer and petrochemicals

  • creating polyethylene polymers, which is the most widely used plastic

What the environmentalists have to complain about

Here, via the Southern Environmental Law Center’s website, is what environmentalists have to complain about.

The Alliance and its member organizations are gravely concerned about the proposed route of the pipeline, which could disrupt some of the most ecologically sensitive areas in the Eastern United States, including more than 50 miles of public lands in the George Washington and Monongahela national forests.  Further, much of the pipeline’s path, particularly in Highland and Augusta Counties in Virginia, would be built over fragile karst topography, a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks and characterized by underground drainage systems with sinkholes and caves.  The impact on area water supplies of a pipeline built over such unstable geological formations could be significant.  It could also present serious safety hazards to the pipeline.

Alliance members are also acutely concerned that the proposed project presents substantial unjustified risks and costs for the rural communities of the Allegheny-Blue Ridge region. These communities will bear the full impact of pipeline development, including the loss of private property, damage to their scenic landscape, and the risk of pollution, with few, if any, of the long-term economic benefits touted by proponents. 

Instead of hurting people’s chances for good paying jobs and making no substantive argument, it might be time for groups like this to help for once.

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