Anti-pipeline voices asked for alternatives

West Virginia is sitting on a gold mine of energy and economic prosperity, and yet our chance for prosperity is being threatened by those who are using every available avenue to block construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP).

It’s time to challenge these obstructionists to come up with constructive ways to power America, and to provide the energy that we need to produce the goods and services that people want.

Manufacturers need energy, and we need that energy to be affordable and reliable.

While we embrace the exploration of renewables and a diverse energy portfolio, we know that fossil fuels will provide the foundation of our energy needs for manufacturers for years to come.

Natural gas is both a raw material and energy source that allows manufacturing to occur throughout our region, as we all cooperate to enrich our economy.

Pipelines are an important part of this regional development. Natural gas liquids can be sent to a cracker in Pennsylvania to be made into ethylene, which is then molded into a car part in North Carolina, and installed in an auto in West Virginia.

The power for each of those plants can be provided by heat from natural gas burners and electricity from efficient natural gas-powered turbines. Cost-effective natural gas, moved through pipelines like the ACP, is an integral part of industrial development.

Sadly, some citizens see any industrial development not as an exciting opportunity for economic development, but rather as a rallying cry for protests. These people see only problems, not solutions. They live in warm houses and drive cars to protests, without ever admitting that their modern lives are made possible by the fossil fuels they condemn.

Environmental activists who claim to want what’s best for our state ignore the benefits of developing West Virginia’s energy industry and lifting our entire regional economy.

They also clearly do not care about the 4,500 skilled construction jobs that the ACP brings with it.

The reflexive opposition to any industrial development without attention to the consequence of shutting down projects like the ACP must end.

We would like to see a positive contribution from those opposing pipelines.

What alternative route for the ACP would you support? And if none, what reliable power supply would you propose using to keep America running?

What solutions do you have?

Rebecca McPhail

President, West Virginia Manufacturers Association, Charleston