January 4, 2016

FERC Approval Process Putting a Hold on West Virginia Jobs

Natural gas pipeline construction projects present a wide array of benefits to communities, businesses, and consumers. Of these many benefits, the creation of pipeline construction jobs is arguably one of the most important, providing wages to local laborers while also fueling the businesses that they frequent. This may not be a new revelation, but it is still an important message worth repeating – as the Bluefield Daily Telegraph recently did in a piece titled “Until FERC approval Pipeline jobs just potential.” The article reported on officials in the oil and gas industry in West Virginia calling on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to complete a timely review of the projects awaiting approval. Industry experts such as Corky DeMarco, executive director of the West Virginia Oil and Natural Gas Association, cited job creation as one of the primary motivations for expedient reviews.

“If the six pipelines currently under consideration were approved, the construction related impact in West Virginia would total $5.7 billion, DeMarco said, adding that the six projects combined would generate 18,035 jobs during construction. The estimated capital investment property taxes would equal $61.1 million. While traditional positions such as welders, welders’ helpers, pipeline integrity workers and drivers to transport materials will be integral, administrative positions such as accountants and payroll clerks will be just as essential.”

The Coalition for the Expansion of Pipeline Infrastructure applauds West Virginians for continuing to speak out on the benefits of pipeline infrastructure construction and echoes their sentiments. With West Virginia alone standing to gain from pipeline construction, not to mention the several other states affected by these proposed pipelines, the need for FERC to approve these projects in a timely fashion seems clear.