CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – On Monday the high court overturned an appeals court, that had halted construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The pipeline runs from Central West Virginia through Virginia and North Carolina, where the gas will be sent to market. Proponents say it’s good for the economy.
“It’s great news for construction workers, particularly heavy equipment operators and pipeline laborers. I mean there’s going to be millions of dollars of paychecks that are going to be earned by local workers,” said Steve White of Affiliated Construction Trades.
“It couldn’t come at a better time, now that we’re trying to return and rebuild our economy, and get it back in operation again,” said Chris Hamilton of the WV Business-Industry Council.
But environmentalists worry the construction and gas production will lead to air pollution, and water contamination. They also say there are cleaner ways to produce energy through wind power and solar panels.
“Renewable energy is becoming more efficient, more sustainable. And states like Virginia and North Carolina, are working it into their future,” said Keena Mullins of the Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club and other environmental groups say they are exploring other legal options, including that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline may violate the federal Endangered Species Act or the Clean Water Act.
The estimated cost for completing the pipeline is $5.1 billion, and that could mean substantial tax revenue to the State of West Virginia,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Chief Political Reporter.