West Virginia Public Broadcasting – When life long Valley Head resident Melissa Wilfong first heard that the 600-mile Atlantic Coast natural gas pipeline was going to be constructed just a few miles from her community, she wasn’t happy. “My first thought was, ‘oh no, they’re going to just tear up everything and be a nuisance,’” she said. Her opinion quickly changed after she had an opportunity to meet some of the hundreds of workers who soon flocked to Valley Head. Read story.
However, understanding the lasting economic impact of pipeline construction on the state is a murky exercise. Currently, pipeline construction is boosting state tax revenues from the natural gas industry, according to Sean O’Leary, a senior policy analyst at the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.
“We know these projects are going to start winding down in the next year, and when they do, that revenue is going to vanish,” he said.
A report co-published in February by the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis found economists have not seen sweeping economic benefits from the natural gas industry at large, despite its six-fold growth during the past decade.
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