Dominion exaggerates pipeline job numbers

Virginia’s Cowpasture River is one of many waterways the Atlantic Coast Pipeline would cross. (© Bill Sublette)

As Dominion Energy runs TV ads touting jobs created by building the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, closer examination shows those numbers are a gross exaggeration. The Daily Progress recently published a letter from SELC Senior Attorney Greg Buppert outlining just how wrong those numbers are. Read his letter below. 


17,000 pipeline jobs? Try 271

The notion that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will result in 17,000 jobs in Virginia is so utterly misleading that when pressed, even Dominion Energy admits it arrived at this number by taking the approximately 2,800 jobs expected during the development and construction phase across three states, multiplying it by six years, and calling it “cumulative jobs” ("Group sour about input," Page A1, The News Virginian, May 31.)

In fact, Dominion’s own 2014 economics report shows that when all is said and done this project will result in only 271 jobs — and that’s across West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina.  Here is what we do know about this risky and unnecessary boondoggle: the pipeline will amount to very few permanent jobs for Virginians; it will result in a $1.6 billion to $2.3 billion increase to Virginians’ electricity bills to pay for the construction; and it will reward Dominion shareholders with 15% return on the company’s investment. That’s the math, plain and simple. Dominion plans to build a pipeline, sell the capacity to its own sister companies, pass the cost on to power customers, and the profit on to its shareholders. Dominion says the pipeline is needed to run power plants, yet the company announced last month that it no longer plans to build new gas power plants and will shift its efforts to solar. This is the clearest evidence yet that we don’t need the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. But such a lucrative project, no matter how damaging to landowners, the environment, or Virginians’ wallets, is one Dominion is not willing to abandon.

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