Charleston Gazette Mail | December 12, 2017
West Virginia sits on the cusp of one of the greatest periods of infrastructure development since, potentially, the creation of the interstate highway system.
This development will provide tens of thousands of jobs, billions of dollars in investment, generations’ worth of tax receipts for state and county governments, and set the foundation for maximizing the state’s oil and gas resources for the benefit of all West Virginians.
Natural gas interstate pipeline projects approved or under review by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission represent what may be the largest private-sector infrastructure investment in the state’s history.
Four of those projects — the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Supply Header and the Leach Express Pipeline — are estimated to provide over $7 billion in investment and economic activity alone.
The Mountain Valley, Atlantic Coast and Supply Header pipelines were recently approved by the FERC, while the Leach Express was approved earlier this year.
Constructing this network of interstate pipelines is critical if we hope to maximize our oil and gas resources for the benefit of our state and its citizens. These lines are needed to move the prolific amount of gas out of our region and to the markets where it is needed.
And, once in operation, these lines will spur additional gas development, which means we’ll have industry jobs well into the future.
In terms of jobs, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and Supply Header, projects of Dominion Resources, are estimated to support more than 17,000. EQT’s Mountain Valley Pipeline will support 4,500 jobs in West Virginia and more than 9,000 project-wide.
The Leach Express Pipeline, being developed by TransCanada, will support more than 5,500 jobs. This is incredible and welcome news for our state.
My company and our West Virginia workforce will benefit significantly from projects like these. We specialize in pipeline construction and have the Supply Header Project under contract. We employ 16 people at our office and shop in Scott Depot and Clendenin and will employ 200-300 union employees during construction.
Most of our workers are West Virginia residents. We pay a considerable amount in local and state taxes, which helps our communities and supports a variety of local businesses. We are proud to be able to do what we love in our home state, and we are excited for the opportunities these projects present to all West Virginians.
Jeff Wade is president of Ace Pipeline.