Letter to the Editor: Atlantic Coast Pipeline will help N.C. meet its energy needs

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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

It’s an exciting time for American energy.

We are amid a revolution that is bringing about more clean, affordable and reliable energy for families and businesses using both natural gas and renewables – and that’s a good place to be.

According to the Energy Information Administration, in 2015, North Carolina’s natural gas consumption increased 9 percent due to demand for electricity by power companies, which increased almost 23 percent. Not only is that a lot of clean fuel, but it also helps decrease our emissions.

This trend isn’t just in North Carolina, it is across the country. We not only use a lot of energy now, but we’re going to use more in the future. So regardless of how much clean energy our country can produce, if we can’t get it from where it is made to where it is used, we risk price spikes and reliability issues because of bottlenecks in the system.

That is why the Atlantic Coast Pipeline matters.

It has been designed as a safe means to bring clean burning – American made – natural gas from where it is produced to markets where families and small businesses need it. People like you and me.

A growing number of anti-development groups have started opposing pipelines to make them a divisive, highly political issue across the country. Now they are trying to grow their base here in North Carolina.

The problem with the anti-pipeline stance that these individuals are putting undo pressure on families, small businesses and low-income individuals who can’t afford higher energy bills.

In fact, one consumer group recently released a report saying that if America keeps saying no to pipelines at its current rate, 31 percent of U.S. electric generation capacity will be removed by 2030, “dangerously raising electric rates.” One-third is enough energy to turn the lights out in 12 states, including California, Florida, New York, Texas, Ohio and all New England combined.

In addition to turning out the lights, losing this critical pipeline infrastructure denies our friends and neighbors access to jobs and prevents new businesses from moving into the Tar Heel state. Many large companies determine where they will build new facilities based on low energy costs, and North Carolina needs to be one of those states.

We just can’t let these things happen – not in North Carolina, not anywhere.

We’re one of the leading states in the south producing clean energy. And while we continue to increase our use of renewable power, we’re only at 7 percent. That means we still need to heat and cool our homes, turn on our lights and use our appliances.

Natural gas pipelines bring the energy we need to do those things – affordably and reliably. That’s why it is time to have a thoughtful discussion on how we build safe, environmentally friendly infrastructure to transport our energy.

America is experiencing an energy revolution that is changing lives, and North Carolina needs to be a part of it. Please join me in telling the federal government that you believe in American jobs and American energy by sending in a brief letter to them here.

Brydon Ross

Southeast director, Consumer Energy Alliance

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