by Alex Hines
The Lightburn Compressor Station in Lewis County used to be busy with activity and the sound of gas works around the facility. But now it stands quiet after court orders stopped work on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline last year. Now people from around the community are banding together to get work started again, for the sake of their community.
"We hear daily from families who are being separated because the work that was happening here in the state of West Virginia, here in their own home has been stalled, and so they're being forced to go out of state," said Cindy Whetsell, Lewis County administrator and director of the Lewis County Economic Development Authority.
The EDA held a meeting Tuesday with Dominion and oil and gas representatives from around the state to highlight the need to restart work on the pipeline. Industry officials said it's not just work for families, but it means millions for the entire state.
"Last year, 178 million dollars in severance taxes to the state, another 93 million dollars in property taxes, millions of dollars in royalty payments to good royalty owners herein West Virginia, and all the jobs, not just industry jobs, but affiliated jobs that serve the industry indirectly," said Charlie Burd, Director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of WV.
And other businesses around the area suffer, too. Smoke on the Water Barbecue in Randolph County used to have both plenty of help and plenty of customers. But since the pipeline closed, they've seen the numbers drop, and they want to get both the people and the pipeline back.
"They frequent our business, sometimes five nights a week, sometimes three nights a week, they keep coming back. They offer their help, their assistance without being paid, 'Oh, we'd love to help you anytime.' We've employed some of their families," said owner Denise Magee.
Read the full article and more at WBOY.