A letter organized by the EnergySure coalition was sent to Governor Terry McAuliffe Wednesday morning applauding his support for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. If constructed, the nearly 600-mile pipeline would run from West Virginia to North Carolina, with an extension running directly from the Hampton Roads.
More than 30 Hampton Roads businesses signed the letter to the governor.
“As you know, the Hampton Roads region has been hit hard by defense and other budget cuts and is working very hard to develop new paths to grow our economy. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is an essential component to our strategy and will help lay the groundwork for the future development and prosperity of our region,” the letter reads.
Bryan K. Stephens, president of the Hampton Roads Chamber and a signatory of the letter, also said that demand for natural gas was a reason to build the lateral line through the Hampton Roads region.
“During the winter of 2013-2014, service to industrial customers in Hampton Roads was curtailed so that home use would not be impacted. That is not a recipe for growth in Hampton Roads, and it does not give new businesses the confidence they need to invest in our region,” Stephens said in a news release.
Stephens said if the pipeline is built, new businesses would be more likely to make Hampton Roads their home. He also said that if the pipeline is not built, businesses will look for other investment options that would provide access to natural gas.
The letter states that beyond the economic development the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would bring to the area f, the pipeline will also generate a significant amount of new tax revenue.According to the EnergySure coalition Virginia stands to earn more than $6.8 million in property tax revenue.
Nearly $2 million in property tax revenues would go to the cities of Suffolk and Chesapeake and county of Southampton each year. The added funds would allow the cities and county to invest in public schools, transportation, fire and safety other public programs.
“Like you, we recognize how vitally important it is to the future of the Hampton Roads economy,” the letter reads. “As the Atlantic Coast Pipeline progresses through the approval process and ultimately reaches construction, we are encouraged to know that our region can continue to rely on your support.”