Pipeline would hurt lowest incomes most

Published 9:01 pm Thursday, June 1, 2017

To the editor:

All but one of the 25 counties the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would impact are below the median income level for their state. These low-income counties will suffer further if the pipeline is constructed — through lower property values, reduced revenues to local governments and reduced tourism.

Here is an example of economic hardship from the ACP, even before it is built.

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We have an elderly neighbor and friend who recently lost his wife. His health is in decline, and he needs to pay for additional care at this time. His meager savings are being rapidly depleted, and he would like to sell his small piece of property to keep from going bankrupt.

But his property is in the blast zone of the ACP, virtually eliminating any chance of him being able to sell it. No one is going to buy property near the pipeline with so many other properties available elsewhere.

Dominion and its tail-wagging Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have stated that property values will not fall as a result of the ACP, that local economies will prosper, and jobs will be created.

The truth is that property values already have fallen significantly, and they will fall precipitously if the pipeline is built. Local economies will suffer, and few jobs will be created.

Even Dominion and FERC admit that only 39 permanent jobs would be created in Virginia, and 25 of them would be in Richmond, leaving only 14 jobs in the impacted communities. No permanent jobs would be created in Western Virginia.

Other jobs will likely be lost due to the pipeline, leaving a net loss. Temporary construction jobs will be filled with out-of-state workers, who will send their money home.

I believe the ACP is intentionally aimed at low-income communities, because they are more vulnerable and less able to resist a corporate attack. Dominion can seize their property more easily than in more affluent areas.

This is typical predatory behavior, and this will be the legacy of the ACP if it is built as proposed. We should not tolerate this in America.

Bill Limpert

Warm Springs