Release and video from the Office of the Governor:
CHARLESTON, WV – After learning today that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling that had previously blocked construction on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) in West Virginia, Gov. Jim Justice celebrated the high court’s decision.
“This was absolutely the correct decision and it’s exciting beyond belief because it means we’ll be able to bring in thousands of jobs and countless opportunities for our hard-working West Virginians,” Gov. Justice said. “Not to mention, the multiplier effect that the increase in natural gas production will give our entire state is off the charts.”
Gov. Justice thanked West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for his work leading an 18-state coalition which successfully argued that a federal appeals court was incorrect in its ruling that the U.S. Forest Service lacked authority to grant the rights-of-way through forestland beneath federal trails.
“We thank Attorney General Morrisey for all of his great work and I again thank the Supreme Court for doing the right thing,” Gov. Justice said. “At the end of the day, this decision is going to result in all kinds of goodness, not only for West Virginia, but also for Virginia and North Carolina and people in lots of different places all across our country.”
Today’s decision clears the way for the completion of the ACP, a 600-mile underground natural gas transmission line which will traverse Harrison, Lewis, Upshur, Randolph, and Pocahontas counties in West Virginia before crossing through Virginia and into North Carolina.
According to a press release from the Attorney General’s Office, the halting of pipeline construction cost the state at least 1,500 well-paying jobs and lost revenue from income and property taxes. The jobs in question paid laborers between $25 to $40 per hour plus per diem.