Gazette Mail | August 21, 2017
We thank Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin, who worked to help ensure a vote would be taken to confirm Neil Chatterjee and Robert Powelson to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission before the U.S. Senate adjourned for the August recess.
For states like West Virginia, the vote to confirm the FERC nominees and restore a quorum at the agency was a critical action necessary for the completion of more than a dozen pending energy infrastructure projects across the nation, including the Atlantic Coast Pipeline in West Virginia.
Until the U.S. Senate’s recent vote to confirm the two FERC nominees, the agency lacked a quorum for the first time in 40 years. This put a number of key energy infrastructure projects, like Columbia Pipeline Group’s Mountaineer Xpress and Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline, on hold until the necessary quorum was in place to approve moving forward in completing these projects.
To put this in perspective, once approved, the many pending projects, worth $25 billion in capital investment, will create more than 75,000 jobs. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline alone will create 17,000 direct and indirect jobs, generate $28 million in local tax revenue, and save $377 million in annual energy costs for our state.
Over the past decade, our state has endured significant economic hardship that resulted in a loss of thousands of jobs, primarily in our energy sector, which has always been part of West Virginia’s economic backbone. Now, with FERC having achieved a quorum thanks to Capito and Manchin, we are back on the right path toward reigniting our state’s economy through the energy sector.
As executive directors of the Independent Oil and Gas Association and the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, we are proud to speak on behalf of the thousands of workers who make up the state’s energy sector. And we commend the senators for their steadfast leadership and for working to achieve a quorum at FERC.