After a rigorous three-year review process, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) recently released its Final Environmental Impact Statement on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, giving the project a favorable review. After an exhaustive review of more than 150,000 pages of regulatory filings and more than 75,000 public comments, this report addresses all environmental and safety concerns and demonstrates the unprecedented steps this project has taken to protect the environment. From making more than 300 route adjustments to adopting some of the most protective construction practices possible, the project has taken every step to protect natural resources and reduce environmental impacts. As one of the most scrutinized infrastructure projects in the region, this positive report is encouraging in advance of plans to seek final approval for the pipeline this fall.
There is no question that North Carolina needs the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Our state is growing by the day and with that, so are our energy needs. In order to power North Carolina’s competitive economy in the future, our state must have the right infrastructure in place to produce efficient, low-cost energy. While our state’s inadequate supply of reliable natural gas has at times been a competitive hindrance, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will advance an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy in North Carolina by improving the reliable delivery of low-cost natural gas supplies to the state. This 600-mile underground, interstate pipeline will improve the state’s environment by fostering cleaner air, energy independence and greater energy reliability, while also serving as an economic game-changer. The pipeline will save consumers and businesses an estimated $377 million annually in lower energy costs, generate $680.2 million in economic activity and support 17,240 jobs during construction and 2,200 in operations.
Promoting a comprehensive, environmentally responsible energy production strategy is vital to strengthening economic competitiveness and securing the future of North Carolina’s infrastructure. With the favorable findings in the FERC’s report, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline continues to move forward and is one step closer to receiving final approval this fall. While opposition to this project will likely continue their efforts to derail this project despite this positive report, we remain committed to advocating for the construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and will do all we can to advance an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy in our state.
Gary J. Salamido
Vice President, Government Affairs
North Carolina Chamber