Dominion Releases Economic Impact Study

Dominion Resources has released the findings of a study touting the economic benefits of it’s proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. The analysis was conducted by Virginia based firm ICF International, which examined the pipeline’s 20 year impact on Virginia and North Carolina, starting with it’s first full year of operation in 2019.

A teleconference was convened by Dominion to announce the study’s release. Diane Leopold, president of Dominion Energy, opened with a summary of the results.

“Based on a report from ICF International, this 550 mile interstate natural gas pipeline appears to be the largest private economic growth driver in Virginia and North Carolina for the next decade. After it goes into service, ICF says the Atlantic Coast Pipeline could save consumers and businesses in Virginia and North Carolina an estimated $377 million each year in lower energy costs.

“The report says that the biggest benefactors will be Virginia and North Carolina electricity consumers, but the savings will not just show in electric bills. The savings will be seen by every natural gas customer too – residential, commercial, and industrial. These consumer cost savings will also trigger stimulus effects that create jobs, boost labor income and grow the states’ economies.

“For a few examples, the report says that due to the lower energy costs alone, more than 2,200 full time permanent high paying jobs could be created in the two states, creating $131 million in annual labor income. The two states could expect a $218 million average annual increase in total economic output.”

Also present on the call was Brent Booker, secretary-treasurer of North America’s Builder Trades Union, which represents over 3 million workers in 14 national and international unions.

“What we see out of this project is thousands of construction careers, will provide living wages, family supporting wages, including health and welfare benefits, and pension benefits for the thousands of workers who will construct this project. The economic benefits of a project of this magnitude is not only to our members performing the construction on it, but it’s also to the communities along the route of the pipeline. Local residents will be provided jobs, not only in construction, but in support of the project and the workers who will be performing the work.”

Dr. Thelma Bland Watson, executive director of the Capital Area Agency on Aging, a non-profit advocate for senior citizens, spoke of potential benefits for the elderly.

“A key issue facing older consumers is living on relatively fixed income, primarily using social security benefits. For our stakeholders, we are interested in the rate reductions, and the stable electricity rates that the pipeline project offers.”

Lastly, Hobey Baughan, president of the Virginia Poultry Federation, spoke of the benefits to agriculture.

“The poultry industry in Virginia is a major economic sector, directly and indirectly supporting some 52,000 jobs and contributing about $13 billion to the Commonwealth’s economy. More than 1,100 family farms raise poultry or eggs in Virginia. As you can imagine, energy costs are very significant in poultry industry operations. The pipeline will improve access to a dependable and more affordable supply of fuel for electric utilities, as well as local gas utilities, which serve our operations, and we are very pleased to support this project that will help farmers, as well as the thousands of others who work in our industry in Virginia.”

A full copy of the company’s press release and,a link to the study and results can be found at Dominion’s website media page at

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Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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