July 21, 2016

Rover’s Benefits Stretch Farther Than We Can Envision

Carrollton Free Press Standard
By Amy Rutledge
July 21, 2016

It’s not often that a private project comes along that provides the opportunity to offer employment to thousands of Ohio residents, facilitate our state’s economic recovery and give our manufacturers continued and growing access to affordable, abundant, and clean energy sources.

But that is precisely what the Rover Pipeline would do and that’s why the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce fully supports its prompt approval and construction.

Rover is a proposed 710-mile, $4.2 billion pipeline will carry 3.25 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas from the Marcellus shale reserves in Pennsylvania and southeast Ohio. Along the way, it will pass through Monroe, Jefferson, Noble, Henry, Harrison, Belmont, Carroll and Richland Counties, providing to consumers, manufacturers and other industries with safe, clean, reliable energy for years to come, and, more importantly, providing jobs and additional economic activity in these distressed counties.

During construction, the project will provide work for an estimate 10,000 people, including 4,500 to 6,500 local, skilled union workers right here in Ohio.

Many of these workers will be staying at Ohio hotels, eating in Ohio restaurants, and shopping locally. There will be a lot of other local services brought in as well, including engineering, real estate, legal, and associated skilled trades such as surveyors. This will generate yet another of economic activity in local communities along the pipeline route.

Then there’s the benefit to our state and local coffers. The estimated ad valorem tax revenue for Ohio in the first year of the pipe’s operation is $135 million. That needed addition to Ohio’s tax base will provide a significant contribution to our communities and the public services we all rely on, including police and fire, libraries, community centers, and infrastructure projects.

In addition, an estimated $153 million in property taxes will be paid each and every year to the states and counties crossed by the pipeline. Rover will pay approximately $99 million directly to landowners for easements in Ohio. That’s money that allows our farmers and landowners invest in farm infrastructure. Furthermore, these types of investments ripple through the local economy and grow community businesses—from the general contractor, to the farm machinery or seed dealer or the local hardware store.

The Rover Pipeline is committed to sourcing products from American manufacturers, including Ohio-based companies that will provide goods and services. The company is currently placing orders for parts used in piping, compression, steel, and bearings. The first orders include a $34 million contract to Ohio-based Ariel Corp. to supply 39 natural gas compressors; $27 million from two Ohio companies for weld fittings, weld flanges and additional pipeline materials such as bolts, gaskets; and $4.4 million for concrete sand from a North East Ohio sand and gravel company.

The Carroll County Chamber of Commerce places a high value on projects that can enhance our state and local economies. The Rover Pipeline stands to accomplish these goals, and should approved in a timely fashion so that the region can begin realizing the benefits.

Amy Rutledge is the executive director of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce.