Proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline Could Save Consumers $377 Million in Annual Energy Costs
A new report reveals that the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline could save consumers and businesses as much as $377 million in energy expenses each year.
According to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the pipeline would slash energy costs by making natural gas more available, driving down prices for utilities in the process, the ICF International study states.
These cost savings would translate to business growth, increased consumer spending, and job creation in Virginia and North Carolina. In addition to 271 permanent oilfield equipment operating jobs in Virginia and North Carolina, the pipeline’s construction is expected to create 2,873 annual jobs, the Wall Street Journal reports. From 2007 to 2012, employment in the U.S. oil and gas industry grew by an amazing 31.6%, making it the fastest-growing sector of the economy.
“In general, energy cost savings allow consumers to spend more money in other sectors of the economy, which stimulates new job creation, labor income, tax revenues, and gross state product,” the study says.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a $5 billion, 550-mile pipeline that would transport oil and gas from West Virginia to the Virginia coast and southeastern North Carolina, would also improve air quality throughout the region due to the decrease in coal-burning energy plants. Natural gas produces about half the emissions that coal does, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Much of the natural gas transported through the pipeline would be sourced through hydraulic fracturing, according to the Times-Dispatch. The U.S. is currently the world’s leading producer of natural gas, and about 67% of the country’s natural gas production comes from hydraulically-fractured wells.
Considering its massive economic benefits and potential to spur job growth, it’s clear that the people of the mid-Atlantic region have no reason not to go forward with the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.