by Jared Kline
AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) — Several businesses and labor groups co-signed a letter sent to statewide candidates in the 2017 general election urging them to throw their support behind the Atlantic Coast Pipeline Project.
The letter — addressed those running for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general — highlight the economic benefits the group said the project would bring to Virginia.
"The project will stimulate billions of dollars in economic activity and tens of millions of dollars a year in tax revenue once it's built," the letter said. "The two year construction phase in Virginia will support 8,800 jobs."
The businesses are members of the EnergySure Coalition, a political action group formed to build public support for the pipeline project.
While the letter said the pipeline was "critical" to Virginia's clean energy future, environmental activists opposed to the project disagree.
"There are many other ways to go about making a new and more prosperous world that by burning more fossil fuels. I'm sorry that that point is not made [in the letter]," said Sandy Greene, a homeowner in rural Augusta County.
Greene said the letter failed to mention the ongoing concern about global warming.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas, "results in fewer emissions of nearly all types of air pollutants and carbon dioxide." However, the fuel source can produce "large volumes of contaminated water."
Greene, who's been powering her home with solar panels for several years, said there are other options.
"Please go to your own land grant universities and colleges. Please read about climate change and fossil fuels. Please read about fracking. Please read about the biodiversity," said Greene.
The Atlantic Coast pipeline, which would stretch from West Virginia to North Carolina, is undergoing an environmental review.