September 29, 2004
RICHMOND, Va. -- Dominion’s proposed natural gas pipeline improvements will provide major economic benefits to central Pennsylvania, including creation of new jobs, more regional economic activity and more revenues for state and local governments, according to a study by the Regional Research Institute at West Virginia University.
Dominion is proposing the $190 million improvements in Pennsylvania in order to get more of the natural gas imported at its Chesapeake Bay facility in Maryland to customers in Pennsylvania and the Northeast.
The project is important to continuing population and industrial growth in Pennsylvania and throughout the Northeast, as it will bring to the region increased supplies of natural gas, the fuel of choice for many homes, businesses and electric power generators, according to the study.
The study found that the project would generate 386 jobs at the peak of construction, $11.9 million in wage earnings and $37 million in gross state product for Pennsylvania economies. The proposed pipeline would also generate approximately $900,000 in tax revenues for state and local economies.
According to Congressman John Peterson (R-PA/5): "Clean-burning natural gas is a vital energy source for heating homes and businesses, fueling industries and transportation systems, and even creating products such as plastics, petrochemicals and fertilizer. Rising natural gas prices have had a significant impact on home energy costs, and have forced many industries to shut down operations, eliminate jobs, or raise prices on consumers. This project will not only improve access to this important energy source in central Pennsylvania, but will create well-paying jobs and bring much-needed revenue to our region."
According to Pennsylvania State Senator Jake Corman (R-34): "Home heating costs have risen dramatically the last few years, putting a strain on many families, particularly those on a fixed income. This project will bring in new supplies of natural gas and enhance central Pennsylvania's key role in providing natural storage for the Northeast."
The expansion involves the extension, upgrading and modernization of existing pipelines in several counties, including Centre, Clinton, Greene, Huntingdon, Juniata, Mifflin and Potter. However, most of the benefits will be in Centre, Clinton, Huntingdon, Juniata, and Mifflin counties. A pipeline extension approximately 81 miles long will be built through those counties, and compressor stations are to be located in Centre and Juniata counties.
According to the study, 382 of the 386 jobs will be generated by the construction phase of the project, which is scheduled for 2008. Fifty-nine percent of the jobs created (or 229) are direct jobs working in pipeline construction at wages significantly higher than averages in the counties the pipeline would traverse.
By adding new natural gas supplies, the study said, the project will act as a damper on price spikes caused by existing supply constraints during periods of peak consumption. Increased supply will also aid population and industrial growth.
"An expanded supply of energy in the region and Northeast will enhance current population and industrial growth, a trend that is expected to continue in the future," the report said. "Without adequate energy supply, this growth cannot be sustained. The proposed pipeline expansion project will address this and other related needs facing the region."
"Dominion’s vast underground natural gas storage system in central Pennsylvania has long been a vital part of the Northeast’s economic vitality," said Thomas F. Farrell II, Dominion president and chief operating officer. "This project will bring new supplies to the area, increase storage capacity, and provide a basis for continued economic growth in Pennsylvania and the Northeast. We look forward to furthering our strong relationship with central Pennsylvania as we proceed with the expansion project. As Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says, natural gas imports can play a significant role in meeting our nation’s future energy requirements."
The Regional Research Institute conducts and promotes interdisciplinary research on economic and social development. As a center of regional research excellence for more than three decades, the RRI has served as an internationally recognized center for the advancement of regional science — an interdisciplinary field at the intersection of geography, economics and planning. The report was prepared at the request of Dominion. The complete report can be found on Dominion’s website, www.dom.com; keyword: cpexpansion.
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers of energy, with an energy portfolio of about 25,500 megawatts of generation, 6.4 trillion cubic feet equivalent of proved natural gas reserves and 7,900 miles of natural gas transmission pipeline. Dominion also operates the nation's largest underground natural gas storage system with more than 960 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves about 5 million retail energy customers in nine states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's Web site at www.dom.com.
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