In a press conference Tuesday at the state capitol in Richmond, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) went against some in his own party when he enthusiastically expressed support for a proposed 550-mile long natural gas pipeline that would stretch from West Virginia through Virginia and to North Carolina. Approximately 44 miles of the pipeline will cross Augusta County.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, McAuliffe noted, would increase consumer access to natural gas while keeping energy costs down. The $5 billion pipeline would be a joint effort by Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas, and AGL Resources, and would provide thousands of jobs and affordable energy.
The project also has support from West Virginia Democratic Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and North Carolina Republican Governor Pat McCrory. Governor McAuliffe was joined by Republican Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates Bill Howell as well as a number of elected officials from both sides of the aisle making this project a bipartisan effort (see Business community, elected officials support Atlantic Coast Pipeline).
Perhaps expecting an outcry from the environmental left, Governor McAuliffe noted in his Tuesday remarks, “This will allow Dominion, who has coal plants that are 50, 60 years old, which they plan on shutting down — this is a lot less emissions. So what we’re doing today is great for the environment. . . . This is a win-win today for everybody.”
It didn’t silence environmentalists but labor was happy with Virginia AFL-CIO President Doris Crouse-Mays backing the initiative for providing jobs and stimulating the economy.
Benefits to the Commonwealth have been estimated to be $14 million in tax revenue from the pipeline.