To meet the challenges of tomorrow, we have to address the growing energy needs we face today. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will make our region energy sure by connecting us to the nation’s largest supply of affordable, cleaner-burning natural gas. Increased access to natural gas will play a major role in driving down the cost of energy, with savings that can be invested back into the local economy and create jobs. Reliable access to this cleaner energy supply will also improve our region’s air quality, as well as our energy security — so we can be sure we have the energy we need when we need it most.
So why is this pipeline needed now? Our region’s demand for energy is increasing, supply is restricted and new federal regulations will reduce our capacity to generate power. Older plants are scheduled for retirement — reducing our region’s capacity to generate electricity. However, these retirements give us the opportunity to replace older facilities with newer, cleaner-burning natural gas power plants. In fact, over the next 20 years, the demand for natural gas as a fuel for power generation in Virginia and North Carolina is projected to more than double.
Once constructed, these new natural gas power plants will make our region energy sure, providing enough affordable, cleaner energy to meet our current demands while also giving us the capacity to grow. But these new power plants will require a reliable source of fuel to operate and truly enhance our region’s energy security.
Over the next 20 years, the demand for natural gas as a fuel for power generation in Virginia and North Carolina is projected to more than double.
Gas-fired power plants require consistent delivery of natural gas to operate efficiently — which the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will provide. Current supply lines are so heavily utilized that capacity can be limited on high-demand days. There have even been times, such as the “Polar Vortex” winter of 2014, when the natural gas demands of the region surpassed available supplies, and delivery to some industrial customers had to be curtailed. The natural gas that was available also became much more expensive. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would provide the region with a new supply of natural gas, enhancing energy security by ensuring the region’s current energy needs can be met and providing the capacity to meet demand in the future.
Another benefit of this new, reliable source of natural gas is its ability to reduce the cost of energy, saving money for customers across the region. A more consistent supply of natural gas also means more consistent energy prices, helping to mitigate the painful price spikes that make it difficult for businesses and homes to budget.
Increased energy security combined with lower, more predictable energy costs will give a big boost to our region’s economy. The money consumers save on energy each year could help support 2,200 jobs when reinvested back into Virginia and North Carolina’s economies. Over the next 20 years, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline is projected to generate $7.5 billion in energy savings, $2.6 billion in labor income and $4.4 billion in gross state product to Virginia and North Carolina.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is the safest way to make us energy sure — supplying our region with cleaner, affordable, reliable natural gas. Not only is it a pipeline of energy to meet our needs today, it is also a pipeline of growth to create the future we want tomorrow. To support the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, join the EnergySure Coalition today!