Eastern North Carolina mayors rally in support of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

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Eastern North Carolina mayors rally in support of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

The mayors of six cities and towns across eastern North Carolina released an open letter urging federal regulators to allow construction of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to resume as soon as possible. 

Read the full letter as follows:

For more than four years elected leaders from across eastern North Carolina have
steadfastly supported the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. We believe this is a once-in-a generation opportunity to revitalize our economy and breathe new life into our
communities.

Our region desperately needs new infrastructure to attract the industries and jobs of the
modern economy. Our current infrastructure is outdated and cannot support
manufacturing or other new industries that we need to grow. These industries are
passing over our communities and locating in other regions with more reliable
infrastructure and access to natural gas. Without decent jobs or a growing economy, our
young people are leaving our communities in the hope of finding opportunity elsewhere.

Ever since the Atlantic Coast Pipeline was proposed, our communities have seen
renewed hope in the future. The project promises living wage jobs for thousands of local
construction workers and opportunities for many of our residents to learn a new
vocation. It’s bringing millions of dollars in new business for local companies, from
equipment dealers and construction suppliers to local hotels and restaurants. Local
contractors that once traveled hundreds of miles for new business now have opportunity
at their doorstep.

The ACP has also allowed us to start recruiting new industries to create local jobs and
grow our economy. Our economic development offices have sent out the word that 
eastern North Carolina is once again open for business, and the word is spreading.
We’re seeing renewed interest in our region, with existing businesses thinking about
expansion and new economic prospects knocking at our door. We also see the promise
of millions in new tax revenue from the pipeline as a way to support our public schools,
enhance our community services and lower the tax burden on our citizens.

We not only see economic opportunity, but also environmental progress. The pipeline is
being built to help our region move away from coal and toward cleaner natural gas. That
will mean fewer emissions in our communities and less carbon in the atmosphere. It will
also provide the reliable backup energy we need to build more renewables like solar
and wind.

For four years, we have spoken with a unified voice in support of this project and the
brighter future it will help build for our region. We have done so because the majority of
our citizens support it, and because our economic future depends on it. Unfortunately,
our voices and the voices of the majority have been have been drowned out by a small,
but vocal band of critics.

Most of the critics of this pipeline do not live in eastern North Carolina and do not share
a stake in our future. They are the political elites in Raleigh and the environmentalist
elites from the Piedmont. Their communities are not desperate for new investment, and
their young people are not fleeing in search of jobs and a better life elsewhere. They
have all the infrastructure and economic opportunity they could ever need. Instead of
congratulating our region on a new chance at prosperity, they seem determined to
deprive us of this opportunity.

An example was a letter from mostly Piedmont-area lawmakers sent to the Federal
Energy Regulatory Commission urging them to suspend the ACP’s Certificate of Public
Convenience and Necessity. Since most of these lawmakers are not from eastern North
Carolina, it is not surprising that they do not understand our economic needs. Rather
than trying to understand or lending a helping hand to their neighbors, they have chosen
to pander to their environmentalist donors.

We are tired of environmental activists and political elites in Raleigh standing in the way
of our progress. The people of eastern North Carolina are perfectly capable of
determining our own destiny and deciding what is in our best interest. We have decided
to embrace the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the renewed prosperity it promises for our
region.

We respectfully urge the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to allow construction
of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to resume as soon as the project’s permits are resolved in
the courts.

Sincerely,
Mayor Roy Bell, Garysburg
Mayor Andy Moore, Smithfield
Mayor Emery Doughtie, Roanoke Rapids
Mayor Linwood Parker, Four Oaks
Mayor Cheryl Oliver, Selma
Mayor Greg Cummings, Pembroke

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