Pipeline opponents question report: 'Are there any benefits?'

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Pipeline opponents question report: 'Are there any benefits?' (Image 1)

SALEM (WSLS 10) - For the first time a large group of opponents against Mountain Valley Pipeline gathered in one location, and sent a very clear message to pipeline officials saying they don't want the pipeline.

The opponents of the pipeline met at the Salem Civic Center, around the same time representatives from EQT hosted their third open house meeting for people to meet one on one with experts to get answers. 

The meeting was standing room only and people were lined up outside the room listening to speakers.

About 15 different organizations from counties possibly impacted by the pipeline were there, wanting to raise awareness and concerns about the pipeline and even ask the question are there really any benefits? 

Speakers informed the crowd why and how each organization wants to stop the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline.

Each speaker had different concerns from water quality to pipeline safety. People questioned the economic benefits of the pipeline.

"We reject the economic report that EQT commissioned," Freeda Cathcart, Mothers Against Pipelines said.

"It needs to be made clear FTI was contracted by EQT to do the environmental report," Steve Hanes from Preserve Bent Mountain said.

A study conducted by FTI Consulting said money spent on equipment materials, labor and services could reach almost $400 million.

Also in the study, 4,300 jobs would be created at the peak of construction in 2018.

A disclaimer in the study is one reason why people don't want the pipeline.

It says the information has been prepared based upon data provided to FTI from the management and staff of EQT.

There is no assurance by anyone that this information is accurate or complete.

WSLS 10 checked with EQT down the hall about the accuracy of the report.

"We had both a local economist in Virginia and West Virginia confirmed verified the results of those studies we feel very very confident that the numbers are accurate," Natalia Cox spokesperson for EQT said.

In the meantime, groups of pipeline opponents want people to be aware and make their own decisions.

"They hear little spics and spats of things but they don't really know the whole story, because this will hurt tourism and not just the environment," Angela Stanton from Preserve NRV said.

For a link to the report http://mountainvalleypipeline.info/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Mountain_Valley_Pipeline_Virginia_Report_10Dec2014.pdf

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