The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce held its first ever joint Virginia Beach and Norfolk Board meeting, welcoming Max Bartholomew and George Faatz to discuss the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce held its first ever joint Virginia Beach and Norfolk board meeting this morning at the Holiday Inn. Ellen Keeter, Chair of the Norfolk Board and Joe Taylor, Chair of the Virginia Beach Board kicked off the meeting by introducing Max Bartholomew, Senior External Affairs Manager with Dominion Virginia Power and George Faatz, Director of External Affairs with Virginia Natural Gas. Bartholomew and Faatz then led a discussion about the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline would run through three states and 26 jurisdictions, starting in West Virginia running through Virginia, and ending in North Carolina. Filing the 32,000 page application through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Dominion Virginia Power will own 45% of the pipeline and Virginia Natural Gas will own 5%. Other companies among the joint venture include Duke Energy (40% ownership) and Piedmont Natural Gas (10% ownership). That percentage will likely shift as the industry is transitioning.
Max Bartholomew started this discussion with the concept of the pipeline. “The concept of this pipeline is to become the general fuel for generation power going forward.” Predicted In the future, there will be an increase in the demand of electric utilities, local gas utilizes, and industries. With this pipeline, not only will there be a significant annual savings for electric customers, there will also be a reliable and diverse supply of gas, there will be cleaner air, economic development activity potential, employment opportunities and property tax revenues. George Faatz concluded the discussion with why we should choose natural gas. There are 33 states that are now producing or have produced natural gas. With the production of natural gas, by 2035, there will be more than 2.4 million jobs added. And mentioned before, the key driver in natural gas is the amount of money consumers can save a year.
Some people do have concerns about the pipeline being built. The opposing side is worried the pipe is going to be above ground, the safety of the people, the construction that it will entail, and environmentalist are worried where the source of the gas will come. People like what they have now and are not open to the idea of a pipeline.
It was a very successful first joint board meeting with over 60 people in attendance. We want to thank all of our division board members for everything they do and will continue to do in 2016!