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Questions need answered before building pipeline

By Staff | Jul 7, 2017

As a community, we should be cautious about this proposed pipeline, and ask the necessary questions to help us evaluate whether the pipeline would indeed be beneficial to the community. I have been doing some digging around and asking questions and it seems like there are still a number of unanswered critical questions Mountaineer Gas needs to respond to. How many jobs would this pipeline actually create, both in the short term (building the pipeline) and long-term (maintenance)?

Often, for these types of natural gas projects, the number of jobs created are modest, and very few are needed once the pipeline is actually built. Who will be filling these jobs? Often the natural gas companies will not employ local residents but those from out of state or even out of the country. Would our energy costs actually go down? If so by how much? For how long? What types of assessments has Mountaineer done to quantify the negative environmental and social impacts and identify mitigation measures for ameliorating them?

Natural gas is often seen as a bridge fuel to renewable energy, but depending upon how the gas is extracted and managed it would end up being just as bad as burning coal. In the end, Mountaineer Gas is building this pipeline primarily for profit. They will not have the community’s best interests in mind. It is up to us to make sure that our interests are protected and represented.

I, for one, need a lot more answers, backed up with data and facts, before I could ever support such a project. We should be increasingly pushing West Virginia to be a leading energy state – focusing on renewables, versus a coal or natural gas state. Renewable energy is creating jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the economy – almost 10 million people work in the renewable energy industry, up 12 percent from just one year ago. These are the types of projects we should really be supporting if we really want to create jobs, stimulate the local economy, and be a more prosperous state.

Jennifer Gerholdt