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Congressman Hurt Not Taking Sides in Pipeline Debate

Posted: Updated: Apr 14, 2015 04:24 PM
Congressman Robert Hurt speaking about proposed pipeline Congressman Robert Hurt speaking about proposed pipeline
NELSON COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

It seems everyone is taking sides in the controversy about Dominion's proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline but one congressman who represents the area is not. 5th District Congressman Robert Hurt says he's more concerned that everyone's opinions are taken into consideration than about the final results. 

Congressman Hurt says he sympathizes with everyone who is upset, but his job is just to make sure their concerns are passed along. “Generally speaking, I support exploration of our domestic energy resources,” he stated.

But Hurt says that must be done safely. “You have to do it in a way that protects private property. You have to do it in a way that protects the environment. You gotta do it in a way that protects public safety.”

Tuesday, Congressman Robert Hurt met with elected officials from Nelson and Buckingham counties, areas that could see the effects of the proposed gas pipeline. Nelson County Supervisor Connie Brennan wants Hurt to help the counties work with Dominion to find an alternate route.

“Dominion has picked the absolute worst possible route, no matter where it comes through our county,” Brennan stated. “I'm also going to ask the congressman if he would be so kind as to request that FERC, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, extend the scoping period that's going on right now.”

Hurt says he wants to make sure any concerns about the economic and environmental impacts are addressed. “I hear from a lot of constituents that have very grave concerns and I feel like it's my job to make sure that FERC hears those concerns and addresses those concerns.”

When it comes down to it, Hurt has still not picked a side on the controversy. “At the end of the day, what I hope and trust is that the right decision will be made.”

He says if you feel like your opinion about the pipeline is not being heard, reach out to his office. He'll make sure it's passed along to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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