17,000 pipeline jobs? Try 271
The notion that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline will result in 17,000 jobs in Virginia is so utterly misleading that when pressed, even Dominion Energy admits it arrived at this number by taking the approximately 2,800 jobs expected during the development and construction phase across three states, multiplying it by six years, and calling it “cumulative jobs” ("Group sour about input," Page A1, The News Virginian, May 31.)
In fact, Dominion’s own 2014 economics report shows that when all is said and done this project will result in only 271 jobs — and that’s across West Virginia, Virginia, and North Carolina. Here is what we do know about this risky and unnecessary boondoggle: the pipeline will amount to very few permanent jobs for Virginians; it will result in a $1.6 billion to $2.3 billion increase to Virginians’ electricity bills to pay for the construction; and it will reward Dominion shareholders with 15% return on the company’s investment. That’s the math, plain and simple. Dominion plans to build a pipeline, sell the capacity to its own sister companies, pass the cost on to power customers, and the profit on to its shareholders. Dominion says the pipeline is needed to run power plants, yet the company announced last month that it no longer plans to build new gas power plants and will shift its efforts to solar. This is the clearest evidence yet that we don’t need the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. But such a lucrative project, no matter how damaging to landowners, the environment, or Virginians’ wallets, is one Dominion is not willing to abandon.
(The writer is senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center.)
Thank you for another successful Riverfest
The Board of Directors of Riverfest want to thank the citizens of Waynesboro and the surrounding area, as well as our donors, exhibitors, presenters, and volunteers for making this year’s Riverfest the largest in our 21-year history. The weather was perfect for the day’s activities, keeping all our programs filled and exhibitors busy. Riverfest does not have an entrance gate where we can count attendees; however, this year we did conduct a random survey of attendees that allowed us to estimate between 2800 to 3500 people attended.
Riverfest was founded in 1997 to educate the community about the recreational, educational, and esthetic value of the South River. Throughout the years, the downtown event has grown to be one of the city’s largest festivals. And local residents have fully embraced the importance and value of this wonderful natural resource.
Riverfest is a registered 501(c)3, non-profit organization, dedicated to promoting environmental conservation and watershed stewardship in the Shenandoah River Basin. Contributions are fully tax deductible. All of our board members volunteer their time to organize and manage the event. We have no paid staff.
During the event we are often told the activities are great, and folks are surprised everything is free. But that does not mean it doesn’t cost anything. Our annual budget has grown to approximately $16,000. All of this is raised from the community by our board members. This amounts to more than $5 for every attendee. Riverfest is made possible through generous donations from local foundations, corporations, individuals, and city government.
It also takes more than money to make Riverfest happen. We need at least 50 volunteers to put on the event. Without this help, the board simply would not be able to manage an event of this size. We are incredibly grateful to our volunteers.
We have already started planning for next year. If you would like to volunteer or make a financial contribution please contact us at www.waynesbororiverfest.org .
And thanks again for making this year’s Riverfest one for the record books. We’ll see you next year!
(The writer is a member of the Riverfest Board of Directors.)
An open letter from one cat owner to another
I almost hit your cat today as it ran across the road in front of me. If that had happened, not only would you have been distraught, as a cat owner myself I too would have been distraught. If you truly love your cat, please keep it indoors.