When you think of pipelines making news, Keystone is usually the first one to come to mind. But you may not be aware of another project on the eastern seaboard which is on the way and generating it’s own share of controversy among domestic energy opponents. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a project being undertaken by a coalition of energy companies consisting of Dominion Resources, Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and AGL Resources. It will carry natural gas through West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina when completed, but it’s drawn some of the usual protests from groups which want nothing to do with any energy that doesn’t have the word “green” in front of it. (My suggestion to simply paint the pipes green was met with measurable skepticism.)
As government officials and their aspiring replacements move into the coming election season, they may want to keep a new poll from the Consumer Energy Alliance in mind, since it indicates that the protesters are in a decided minority.
CEA found that 56 percent of voters in Virginia supported the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, 70 percent in West Virginia and 55 percent in North Carolina. The poll also showed that voters of all political affiliations support expanding offshore exploration, constructing the Keystone XL pipeline, keeping coal power plants operational and expanding shale production via hydraulic fracturing.
Job were mentioned most frequently as the reasoning for support of the pipeline, following by anticipated reduction of natural gas prices.
Some of the other findings from the full report include the following:
- Majorities of voters in North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia have heard about the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and support it
- Across states, more than 80 percent of voters say energy will be a significant factor on how they vote
- Presidential candidates will need to take a strong stance on pipeline construction and energy development
- Voters overwhelmingly believe pipelines are the safest means to transport natural gas
- Voters support expanding offshore exploration, constructing the Keystone XL Pipeline and generating electricity via coal-fired power plants.
These are not only good jobs we’re talking about here (in some areas which have still not fully recovered from the recession) but the opportunity to further drive down energy costs for home heating and business use. If there are any environmental activists remaining out there who still want to claim that domestic energy production and transportation doesn’t result in lower prices, simply point them to the gas pumps closest to your homes. This is all thanks to domestic energy production, and the people laying across the tracks are the ones who want you to pay more for your heating bill and to fill up your tank. Your elected officials need to be reminded of this loudly and often.
The results of this survey pretty much parallel what we saw from previous polls regarding Arctic offshore drilling. I realize that ISIS is getting all the headlines and the attention in interviews, but we need to remember that people vote on pocketbook issues far more than global events which they don’t see the impact of outside their front door. (Or in their mailbox when the bills come each month.) Energy is a winning issue for conservatives and they need to be running hard on it for the next seventeen months. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a good place to start.