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Anne Blankenship August 27, 2018
Pipeline Development in WV Creating Significant Economic Impact for State, Local Communities
Local leaders highlight need for projects to continue construction
Charleston, W.Va.– Interstate natural gas pipeline development in West Virginia has resulted in the addition of 3,600 jobs in the last twelve months, according to Workforce West Virginia, while positively benefitting state tax revenue and local economies. However, those benefits are threatened due to recently issued stop-work orders for the Atlantic Coast and Mountain Valley pipelines.
Dave Hardy, Deputy Revenue Secretary for the State of West Virginia, appearing on Inside Shale Weekly on Tuesday, Aug. 21st, touted historic state revenue collections for the month of July and credited natural gas as a major reason for the surplus.
“The oil and gas industry is huge,” Hardy said. “As the pipeline projects come online we’re projecting that our state revenue numbers for natural gas are going to continue to grow. Along with the construction of the pipelines, you have a more steady stream of gas being able to get to market, so obviously that’s going to lead to more production and more stability.”
Pipeline construction is also benefitting local communities where the lines are being built. Ken Altizer, a county commissioner in Nicholas County, where the Mountain Valley Pipeline is being constructed, highlighted a number of examples of Summersville businesses experiencing increased sales due to the project.
“A local auto dealership has done a lot of repair work as well as sold vehicles to the people coming to work,” Altizer said. “A local laundromat has nearly doubled its business. A restaurant went from doing 30-35 tickets to 120 tickets during lunch.”
“We’ve had 200-300 local people hired, which is great for our economy,” Altizer said. “When this is all finalized, the county will receive $2.2 million dollars in tax revenue just from the assets of the pipe in the ground.”
“All in all, business in the county has tremendously increased, and now everyone is on edge about what’s going to happen with this shutdown,” Altizer said.
Steve White, director of the West Virginia Affiliated Construction Trades Council, said these projects have spent years getting their permits and, due to legal challenges, they have been stopped by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
“They’re shutting these projects down,” White said. “They’re laying off our people. Our folks are losing money. It’s a huge hit to the working person.”
“The majority of people are local people on these jobs. Even though you see a lot of out of state folks, they are from our region. This is their time to earn.”
“Let’s fix the permits, but let us work on the rest of the line, while you do.”
To listen to the Aug. 21 Inside Shale Weekly podcast, visit: https://insideshale.podbean.com/.
For additional information, contact Anne Blankenship at (304) 343-1609.