Greg Kozera | December 21, 2015 | Charleston Gazette-Mail
With the proposed construction of pipelines to carry natural gas from West Virginia to people and places that need it comes some resistance.
After reading a recent article about a family that had moved from Florida to a farm in Virginia and were outraged to find out that a natural gas pipeline was going go through their property, I was really upset.
As a property owner who lives with natural gas pipelines, I can empathize with them. Pipeline construction will be a temporary inconvenience and nuisance. But the grass will grow back and they will have a habitat for cattle, deer or even wild turkeys on their farm. The unseen pipeline will then become a non-issue, just like the pipeline in my neighborhood.
I bet they never gave it a thought that there are real human beings on the end of that pipe who will need the natural gas to keep warm and to have electricity for their homes.
We have heard a lot from those against pipeline development. I hope that these “antis” are simply ignorant about energy and the importance of natural gas to people at the end of the pipe, rather than being selfish or uncaring.
Because I have a son and four grandchildren in Virginia, I will speak on their behalf.
Natural gas pipelines are being built for a reason. Southeast Virginia and the Carolinas need the now abundant natural gas we are producing from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations.
Last winter in the bitter cold, much of southeast Virginia was very close to being curtailed.
Thanks to the EPA and the current administration in Washington, North Carolina has a number of coal fired power plants that will be closing. They will need to be replaced and natural gas power is the planned replacement.
My oldest son, who has a home and four kids in Virginia, is in the military. He has done three tours in the Middle East. Two of his years were spent making sure oil could move out of the Middle East so that the Virginia family I mentioned, and all Americans, could drive their cars and pickups. As parents we worried every day about his safety. I will gladly have a pipe across my property if it will keep my son home and out of harm’s way.
Do the anti-pipeline people have any idea of the sacrifices our military and their families make so that they have the freedom to speak freely and protest the pipe that my son and his children will benefit from?
Sadly, in my neighborhood we don’t have natural gas service to our homes. My electric bill was almost $500 a month last winter. My youngest son in Maryland heats with natural gas. His natural gas and electric bills last winter combined were never over $200 a month and he has four kids.
Natural gas rates are going down and thanks to the EPA our electric rates are increasing.
My guess is that the pipeline antis never thought about where their energy comes from. I’m sure that they are driving a car or a pickup instead of riding a horse to their anti-pipeline rallies. I bet they all have a computer, television and cell phone which are possible because of petrochemicals from natural gas and oil.
As Americans we have a lot to be thankful for. Thanks to American ingenuity and technology one of our greatest blessings is the gift of the Marcellus and the Utica shales, now the largest natural gas fields in the world.
Because of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing our gasoline prices are the lowest we have had in years. Natural gas — rather than being in short supply — is now abundant and cheap. Shouldn’t we share this gift with the rest of the country and the world? That requires pipelines.
Clean air and clean water are important for people. So is having affordable and dependable domestic energy. We can produce a lot of energy but it is worthless unless we can get it to where it is needed. That is why we need pipelines.
To all of the surface owners who have pipelines on your property, thank you.
Greg Kozera of Elkview has 40 years of experience in the energy industry and is an expert in leadership. He can be reached at www.gregkozera.com.
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