Man spreads message that pipelines will hurt Va. economy

Ex-energy company leader Thomas Hadwin spoke in Roanoke Monday

By Tommy Lopez - Weekend Anchor / Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - A Virginia man who has a background in energy and business wants to spread a message that pipelines in the Commonwealth will hurt the area’s economy.

Thomas Hadwin, who lives in Waynesboro, has worked for large gas companies in two states and has been a business consultant. Local Democrat and activist Freeda Cathcart organized an event with him and media members today in downtown Roanoke.

Hadwin said many people in Roanoke will pay more for energy because of an unfavorable deal if the Mountain Valley Pipeline is built.

“This is not a good economic deal for Virginia, so why should we sacrifice our mountains, our clean water and all those other issues, just so that we pay more,” Hadwin said.

He said the U.S. is producing plenty of gas without these two proposed pipelines and questions if there will be enough demand for the energy. He believes the construction isn’t creating jobs because the work is short-term and the workers largely aren’t local, and said those concerns are on top of environmental and land ownership issues.

Hadwin acknowledged that these concerns have been voiced for years, but he said if people can influence Virginia politicians to take action, the projects could be shut down due to environmental concerns if the Commonwealth requires water quality analysis to check against standards.

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