2017-08-09 / Opinions

Op-Ed: Eastern Panhandle Expansion Project critical for region

from Eastern Panhandle legislators

If you’ve flipped through one of
our local newspapers, or scrolled
through your social media feeds,
over the last 10 months there’s a
good chance you’re seeing a debate taking place on whether expanding the Eastern Panhandle’s
natural gas infrastructure is a good
idea. As members of your Eastern
Panhandle delegation we feel it is
important to weigh in on this issue
and explain why we support this
critical project for our region.
Job creation is paramount for
our region. It is incumbent upon
us, as your elected officials, to
push for greater opportunities here
at home for the current work force
and for the generations to come.
These opportunities not only benefit West Virginians, but will lead to
high paying, full-time positions for
our entire region. However, when
large companies look to expand
into our region they often require a
plentiful supply of natural gas to
support their needs.
The West Virginia Development
Office has real stories of companies choosing neighboring states
over the Eastern Panhandle because our current natural gas system has reached its capacity. Quite
simply, our current natural gas system is hindering future job creation
in the region.
There is good news though,
TransCanada and Mountaineer Gas
are prepared to step up and help us
eliminate this hindrance to future
job creation. Through their proposed infrastructure projects, we
will receive the additional natural
gas capacity required to feed our
near and long term energy needs.
Not only will this project enable us
to attract high-paying jobs for current residents and surrounding
areas, but for future generations as
well.
There have been many concerns
raised over safety and the environment. We have spent time with
members of both companies and
impressed upon them our constituent concerns regarding safety
and environmental impact. We
learned a great deal about their excellent track record in our region.
For instance, did you know that

TransCanada’s Columbia Gas
Transmission has safely operated
in our region for over 60 years?
This includes currently operating
12 Potomac River crossings in the
state of Maryland alone – demonstrating that TransCanada has
proven their capabilities to safely
and effectively cross water in our
area.
On their proposed 3.5-mile,
eight-inch diameter transmission
line to feed Mountaineer Gas,
TransCanada is planning to cross
over 100 feet below the Potomac
River to avoid any impacts to the
water above. Once operational, the
line will be monitored 24 hours a
day, 365 days a year from the company’s Gas Control Center in
Charleston. The pipeline will also
be inspected regularly via aerial
patrol.
We all read with great sadness
the recent CNBC article which
ranked our state the worst for business in the United States. While
we can all debate the merits or
rigor of the research, one thing is
true: our beloved state is the perfect place to work, live and raise a
family. However, offering the resources relocating businesses demand is key. This is why, as your
elected leaders, we fully support
the efforts of Trans Canada and
Mountaineer Gas in helping our region in expanding our pipeline to
jobs, growth and prosperity.
Signed by:
Senator Charles Trump
(R-Morgan)
Senator Craig Blair
(R-Berkeley)
Senator Patricia Rucker
(R-Jefferson)
Delegate Daryl Cowles
(R-Morgan)
Delegate Saira Blair
(R-Berkeley)
Delegate Eric Householder
(R-Berkeley)
Delegate John Overington
(R-Berkeley)
Delegate Michael Folk
(R-Berkeley)
Delegate Paul Espinosa
(R-Jefferson)
Delegate Jill Upson
(R-Jefferson)
Delegate Riley Moore
(R-Jefferson)

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We're all familiar with this

We're all familiar with this kind of political talk by now. Combining a doom ang gloom view of the current state of things, blaming that on lack of giveaways to corporations, or the most basic regulations for safety or health, combined with stirring up fear about the future while glossing over the real and present dangers of oil and gas mining, drilling and distribution. This op-ed was missing bothersome specifics like what companies have left the area because of lack of this gas pipeline? Which companies have scrapped a plan to relocate in the panhandle for lack of gas capacity? How many jobs are we talking about? The only thing missing was wrapping it all up in the flag. Bibi stated it well. There are now safer AND cheaper alternative ways to power industry, if that's what you want to attract. Mountaineer Gas is owned by a joint-venture involving corporations in Delaware, England and Germany. Those corporations don't "step up to help" They are in the business of making money. Period. Farmers and individual citizens will not get in their way or regulate their greed. That's what our local and state governments are SUPPOSED to do.

OKay, so according to the

OKay, so according to the article there will be jobs for now and in the future,,,what I want to know is what jobs? Once the damned thing is built UNDER the river (oh no no environmental problem there. How many small towns receive their water from the Potomac? What happens if the gas line cracks and gas escapes into the water?) Oh yeah, the line will be monitored by computer somewhere else. ok...who has a job then? This is seriously the worst idea ever. They are so full of crap and expect us to eat it up. NO THANKS.

Just keep it up, guys. Soon

Just keep it up, guys. Soon there won't be a single acre left untarnished. I hope you're happy that you're contributing to our state becoming a sacrifice to the fossil fuel industry while the rest of the world moves on to renewable resources. I hope you're happy that WV will ONCE AGAIN be last in adopting anything remotely 21st century. I hope you're happy when you realize that your refusal to progress is driving our young people out of the state to pursue employment.I hope you're happy when your grandchildren ask you why you didn't do more, instead of writing bills that protect the fossil fuel industry instead of the wonderful families that have been farming here for generations.vDon't forget, this is FRACKED GAS. We are supporting fracking when we support the pipeline. Maryland was SMART enough to ban this filthy industry. When are you all going to wake up??? I hope you're happy when you're finally voted OUT.