Jim Elliott’s Sept. 9 letter, “The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has answers for consumers,” contained the same old arguments in favor of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline: supposed need, reduction of energy costs to consumers, cleaner air by using natural gas and, of course, jobs. Independent studies indicate that gas and utility companies are overbuilding natural gas infrastructure; air quality will be worsened from various emissions during construction; and there will be only 39 permanent jobs for Virginians when the pipeline is completed.
The cost to thousands of property owners and businesses will be enormous. Less than 10 percent of this project will use existing rights of way; the rest will be on private property, some of which is likely to be taken by eminent domain.
In Nelson County, we can easily see the impact of this project on our economy, environment and daily lives. During the two-year construction period, we will have to contend with heavy trucks, cranes, bulldozers and rock blasting. Forty-foot-long pipes will be stored in large staging areas. Access roads will be built. A large drilling area will be established for a one-mile tunnel under the Blue Ridge Parkway. A 125-foot-wide clear-cut pathway (the width of an interstate highway) will destroy 7,000 trees in our area alone. This is all on steep mountain slopes before it goes down through the valley and the town of Nellysford.
The project’s estimated $5.1 billion cost does not include the cost to all in its path.
Joy Harris, Lexington, Va.