Most voters in three Mid-Atlantic states back pipelines, poll says

Majorities of voters in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina support approval and construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and similar projects, telephone surveys commissioned by the Consumer Energy Alliance indicated. Most respondents also consider pipelines the safest way to transport natural gas, and back construction of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, CEA officials said as the group released the results on May 22.

Majorities of voters in Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina support approval and construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and similar projects, telephone surveys commissioned by the Consumer Energy Alliance indicated. Most respondents also consider pipelines the safest way to transport natural gas, and back construction of the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, CEA officials said as the group released the results on May 22.

“As we’ve seen in years past, the success of those running for governor or for [congressional] seats in this election cycle will hinge on their ability to promote issues that stimulate the economy, create jobs, contribute to the well-being of US families and small businesses, as well as helping to ensure the protection of our environment,” CEA Pres. David Holt said.

“Promoting the expansion of domestic energy production and infrastructure, especially pipelines, remains the best way to achieve all of the above,” Holt said. Of the three states, Virginia is the only one that will hold gubernatorial and state legislature elections in November. All will hold congressional elections in 2018.

Hickman Analytics Inc. surveyed 500 registered voters in Virginia, 405 in West Virginia, and 660 in North Carolina May 9-11 for CEA. It found support among the polls’ participants for building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was strongest in West Virginia, 60%, followed by Virginia’s 54% and North Carolina’s 52%.

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a draft environmental impact statement for the more than 600-mile project in early January and took public comments until Apr. 6 (OGJ Online, Jan. 3, 2017). FERC is expected to issue a final EIS on June 30.

The pipeline would originate in Harrison County, W.Va.; continue to Greensville County, Va., where a lateral would extend east to Chesapeake; and proceed south into eastern North Carolina, where it would end in Robeson County. Two shorter laterals would connect to Dominion Energy power plants in Brunswick and Greensville counties.

Richmond-based Dominion Energy is the primary sponsor. Two Charlotte utilities—Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas—and Atlanta-based Southern Co. Gas are partners.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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