Virginia Chamber of Commerce Press Release:
Richmond, Va. – Today, a coalition of 31 leading Virginia businesses, labor organizations and business groups released a letter to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, applauding his steadfast support for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The letter was unveiled during a conference call this morning hosted by the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, in which the Chamber’s president and CEO Barry DuVal was joined by Republican and Democratic members of the Virginia General Assembly and several members of the EnergySure coalition.
The letter’s signatories include leading businesses, labor organizations and industry groups representing tens of thousands of Virginians, including the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Virginia Forest Products Association, Virginia's Gateway Region, Chamber RVA, Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, James River Air, Virginia Poultry Federation, Virginia State Building & Construction Trades Council, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 80 and International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local Union 45, among several others.
The full letter and complete list of signatories are available at: https://www.vachamber.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/EnergySure-Letter-to-Gov-McAuliffe.pdf
“As business and labor leaders from across Virginia, we applaud you for standing by your commitment to keep the Commonwealth’s economy growing and for the unwavering support you have shown for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline project,” the letter states. “As members of the EnergySure coalition, a broad-based coalition of more than 200 businesses, labor groups, and economic development organizations, we recognize the vital importance of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to the environmental health and economic vitality of our region,” the letter continues.
The letter highlights the major economic benefits of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, including the creation of 8,800 jobs, $1.4 billion in economic activity and $2.4 million in annual tax revenue over the two-year construction period. Once in operation, the pipeline is also expected to support $38 million in annual economic activity, 1,300 new jobs and more than $10 million in local tax revenue for the 13 Virginia cities and counties along the proposed route.
Virginia Chamber President and CEO Barry DuVal, who was joined on this morning’s conference call by Senator Glen Sturtevant (R-Midlothian) and Delegate Roslyn Tyler (D-Jarratt), said: “Our region needs increased access to natural gas supplies to stay economically competitive, attract new jobs and keep energy bills affordable. Simply put, Virginia businesses need the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.”
The letter to Governor McAuliffe points out that the demand for natural gas is expected to grow significantly in Virginia in the coming decades as the population continues to grow and electric utilities transition from coal-fired electricity to cleaner-burning natural gas. “Our region’s existing pipeline infrastructure is fully tapped and unable to meet this significant growth in demand,” the letter states. “That is one of the most basic and important reasons we urgently need new infrastructure like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.”
Danielle Fitz-Hugh, president and CEO of the Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and a signatory of the letter to the Governor, said of the project: “Now is the time to take action to ensure we have a reliable energy source to power progress in Southside Virginia and in Hampton Roads. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will give us an opportunity to spur economic growth and create jobs, while at the same time improving our environment. That’s a future we should all embrace.”
Danny Watson of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers Local 45, which represents members throughout the Commonwealth, stated: “We train for many years to develop the skills necessary to build massive projects like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, but only once in a generation does a project come along that is as important and has such a hugely positive impact as this project. On behalf of the thousands of skilled and hardworking Virginians who will help build the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, we encourage Governor McAuliffe and leaders across Virginia to continue your support.”
Senator Glen Sturtevant, who represents the 10th Senate District in the Virginia General Assembly, said: “We have to get our economy growing again, and in order to do that we need to secure our region’s energy supply. Without new infrastructure to bring new supplies of natural gas to our region, we’re not going to be able to compete for the industries and good-paying jobs of the 21st century economy. That’s what makes the Atlantic Coast Pipeline so critically important to Central Virginia and the Commonwealth as a whole.”
Delegate Roslyn Tyler, who represents the 75th House District in the Virginia General Assembly, said: “I strongly support this project first and foremost for the economic development opportunities it will bring. We will be able to tell businesses that they can locate here and have a safe, reliable, affordable supply of domestic natural gas ready to go - that’s huge for us. Additionally, communities that host the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will receive significant new property tax revenue- just from having a pipeline running underground and out of sight.”
“Be assured that as you continue to stand up for this vitally important project,” the letter to Governor McAuliffe concludes, “you are standing up for the overwhelming majority of Virginians who support this pipeline and want to help build a brighter economic and environmental future for our Commonwealth. We want to reassure you that your efforts in support of this project are appreciated and have not gone unnoticed by the vast majority of Virginians.”