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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline


  1. I can't believe the people of Pocahontas County could actually think this pipeline will be good for them. As an employee of a large natural gas distributor in another state, let me explain to you what will happen. First of all, there will be VERY MINIMAL to NO jobs for people in Pocahontas County. Understand that large natural gas construction companies hire contractors that are proven to them. This means that Dominion will hire a contractor that has worked/is working for them, and that has done many, many jobs for them. Laying very large gas lines like this require a contractor who is trusted and proven, and they will pay EXTRA to make sure this contractor comes. That contractor MAY hire additional, smaller contractors to do very specific work that only that contractor specializes in. They WILL NOT hire local contractors with no gas line experience. Once this line is complete, there will be NO local jobs for maintenance or inspection. Dominion will either hire contractors or use their own employees. Don't fool yourselves into thinking this will be good for the Pocahontas County economy. In fact, it will help destroy the valuable resources that actually DO feed the economy: fishing, mountain biking/hiking, outdoor activities. Beautiful freshwater trout streams will be impacted in a negative way and will NEVER return to their pristine conditions. Forest land will be destroyed and will NEVER be returned to normal. And the private farms and homes that will be impacted? Ask yourself this: Who would want to buy land with a monstrous natural gas line running underneath, a monstrous right of way crossing the property (which, by the way, you can never put a structure of any kind on), not to mention the inherent danger. If you think there's no danger, ask the people in Sissonville who's homes were blown up a few years ago. As for the people of Pocahontas County being able to "tap" into the gas line and receive natural gas here? Keep dreaming. Natural gas distributors do a cost estimate before they extend pipelines into communities. If they don't feel there is enough return versus what it will cost them to build the pipeline, they WILL NOT build a pipeline for individual customers. In fact, where I live, we only build additional lines to new manufacturing customers, and if there are individual homes along the way that want to tap on, they can. This pipeline is so large it is not able to just be "tapped" into, as well. The pressure and the amount of natural gas would prevent this. There are contractors that could tap in and bring residential lines further into the county, but it's extremely unlikely to happen due to the fact that there is such a low population and no industry that would be using natural gas. Just trying to give you people a heads-up. Don't let Dominion fool you.

  2. I am the poster of the comments above this and have been reading comments on Norman's FB page. Ms. Sharp shared a link to a "fact page" from Dominion about natural gas pipelines. I can't do it here, but let me say that for EVERY point they give a "Fact", there is another "Fact" that they are NOT telling you. Believe it. Natural gas supports my life, my family, and I am grateful for my employment, so I'm not just a "Naysayer" as Ms. Sharp would believe. I am very knowledgeable in this industry. People and industry who have a large financial amount to gain from a pipeline like this will spin any kind of tale to get others to believe it's great.
    Myth: Natural gas pipelines are dangerous.
    Fact: Natural gas pipelines have a long-standing, impressive safety
    record. In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation says that
    pipelines are one of the safest ways to transport natural gas. They
    are much safer than shipping fuel by rail or truck. REAL FACT: Natural gas pipelines are as safe as the gas companies and federal regulators are trying to make them. They are fairly safe. But, it's also fairly safe to ship fuel by rail or truck. Take your pick.
    Myth: Natural gas pipelines aren’t regulated.
    Fact: They’re actually heavily regulated: The Federal Energy Regulatory
    Commission, with input from numerous federal and state
    environmental agencies, will conduct an in-depth review of the
    pipeline plan to determine if it’s in the public interest. The U.S.
    Department of Transportation closely monitors pipeline safety. REAL FACT: Natural gas pipelines are regulated by federal and state environmental agencies somewhat. There is not enough time or manpower for federal and environmental agencies to consistently monitor natural gas pipelines. As these pipelines age, there are material failures that happen regularly, sometimes with catastrophic results. Ask any local natural gas company and they will tell you they have specific employees assigned to "leak checks". That persons job is strictly going around looking for gas leaks from material failure. On a pipeline of this magnitude and this type of terrain, material failure will be hard to diagnose.
    Myth: My community won’t see the economic benefits of the new pipeline.
    Fact: Pipeline construction could result in as much as $2.7 billion in
    new economic impact throughout the region, support 17,240 jobs,
    help stabilize both home heating and electricity prices, promote
    more economic development, improve air quality, and generate
    significant state and local tax revenue. Every county along the
    pipeline’s path will benefit REAL FACT: This is the funny one. 17000 jobs? Not in Pocahontas County, these will be the contractors they bring in! This pipeline will not solely "help stabilize home heating and electrical prices". One pipeline will NOT do that. Lies lies lies.
    Myth: The pipeline will alter the natural beauty of our region, and
    hurt tourism.
    Fact: The pipeline will be virtually invisible. There are 2.5 times
    more miles of underground natural gas pipelines than interstate
    highways in Virginia. Yet few people ever notice. REAL FACT: The pipeline in Pocahontas County will be highly visible because it will be so destructive to the natural beauty of the forests, mountains and streams. Other pipelines are much smaller and built within areas that this type of destruction isn't as noticeable because it's already been destroyed by development.
    Trust me, I know.


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A local archivist who specializes in all things Pocahontas County