In our region, the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline has aroused controversy. So has another proposed natural gas line through Southwestern Virginia. A new study takes a look at local costs of the pipeline that would stretch from West Virginia to a compressor station in southern Virginia.
The gas companies behind the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline have estimated it would cost $3.5 billion to construct the 42-inch-wide pipe through eight counties along the Virginia/ West Virginia border.
But a new study released today attempts to look at the secondary costs of the pipeline, the costs incurred by residents, businesses, and governments in the area. Those costs, it says, are at least $8 billion.
The 50-page study commissioned by the group called Protect Our Water, Heritage, Rights, which is opposed to the pipeline, not only looked at the loss in property value for homes and businesses in and around the 300-miles of proposed pipe, but also examined the loss of tourism revenue, changes to timber and food production, and other ripple effects that the pipeline’s construction could cause.
Companies behind the Mountain Valley Pipeline submitted their application for federal approval last fall. But according to the study’s author, Spencer Phillips, that process is a “rigged game” because it ignores these costs to communities.