Atlantic Coast Pipeline isn’t what our state needs

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The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 600-mile natural gas pipeline from West Virginia through Virginia and eight eastern North Carolina counties proposed by Dominion, Duke Energy and other partners is a project that is not needed.

A brochure published by Dominion titled “Powering the Future” states that the project would bring $1.6 million in annual local property tax revenue to Northampton County by 2022. These tax payments would depend on whether the pipeline actually runs at full capacity; less natural gas running through the pipeline means less money to counties.

Duke Energy and Dominion have touted the thousands of jobs that the ACP would bring, but the project would only create 18 permanent jobs in North Carolina, which has been documented in the federal Environmental Impact Statement.

Solar jobs have grown 12 times faster than overall U.S. jobs. 85 percent of clean energy development in N.C. has been in Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties — the most economically challenged. The average wage for a solar-related job is $21 an hour. This wage would be more than enough for a single person living in Northampton or Robeson counties where the living wage is $10.23 an hour, and the living wage for a household of two adults and one child, with 1 adult working, is $20.98 an hour.

From 2007-15 there has been $12 billion in economic activity in N.C. from clean energy — energy efficiency, solar, wind, biomass and other resources — as well as the equivalent of 82,400 full-time jobs. Taxpayers spent $322 million on tax rebates for clean energy; those investments brought back $529 million in state and local taxes, that’s a $1.50 return on every $1 spent. We make money off of clean energy every time we invest!

We should not be investing in a natural gas pipeline that is going to be paid for through rate increases on all of our Duke Energy or Dominion electric bills. Let’s invest in the best interest of North Carolina residents. Let’s invest in clean energy.

Marvin Winstead

Nash County

Ericka Faircloth

Clean Water for NC, Durham