by CBS 17 Digital Desk
FOUR OAKS, N.C. (WNCN) – The mayors of six cities and towns across eastern North Carolina released an open letter Thursday urging federal regulators to allow construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to resume as soon as possible.
Construction of the project was temporarily halted last December to allow additional court review of two federal permits.
The letter was signed by Garysburg Mayor Roy Bell, Smithfield Mayor Andy Moore, Roanoke Rapids Mayor Emery Doughtie, Four Oaks Mayor Linwood Parker, Pembroke Mayor Greg Cummings, and Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver.
The mayors explain the vital importance of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to the economic and environmental future of their communities in the letter, saying:
"We believe this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revitalize our economy and breathe new life into our communities.
Our region desperately needs new infrastructure to attract the industries and jobs of the modern economy. Our current infrastructure is outdated and cannot support manufacturing or other new industries that we need to grow. These industries are passing over our communities and locating in other regions with more reliable infrastructure and access to natural gas.
Without decent jobs or a growing economy, our young people are leaving our communities in the hope of finding opportunity elsewhere."
###Read the full news release from the mayors here.