Chamber supports Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Published 9:35 am Friday, December 11, 2015

To the Editor:

Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce has been serving the community since 1954. We work with businesses and local government to bring positive growth through economic development to our area so that the citizens of our community can have good paying and rewarding jobs to provide for their families. Our county has a unique opportunity to be part of the largest energy infrastructure project this century. This project, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) is an interstate natural gas transmission pipeline that would serve multiple public utilities and their growing energy needs in Virginia and North Carolina.

The benefits of this project are many. First, the abundance of domestic supplies of natural gas has allowed a low-cost energy source that is decreasing the nation’s dependence on foreign imports. Further, natural gas produces significantly lower emissions than coal, including just half the carbon, which improves the quality of air now and into the future.

As important as the first two benefits are, the ones that are most important to the Franklin-Southampton area are the costs savings, economic development opportunities and revenue generating ability for our county.

The pipeline would provide a dependable supply of natural gas for electric utilities in the region to serve customers with a new, reliable source of supply, and permit businesses to build or expand their operations. Consumers and businesses in Virginia and North Carolina could save an estimated $377 million annually in lower energy costs thanks to this project, according to an analysis by Virginia-based consulting firm ICF International.

Additionally, from the Dominion Tax Department report, May 2015, on projected local property tax revenues, property taxes paid to counties and municipalities by ACP would ultimately exceed $25 million a year. For Franklin-Southampton the tax revenue exceeds $715 thousand yearly. This is revenue that can be used to offset the cost of education, public safety and other community needs.

The Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors proudly supports this project for cleaner air, for more affordable energy, for economic development opportunities and for local tax revenues.

Kim Williams
President Franklin-Southampton Area Chamber of Commerce