In his letter of Nov. 20, 2021 ("Politicians need to get off the pipeline fence"), Ed Reynolds asked an irrelevant question of Virginia's senators and governor — he wants to know if they support or oppose the Mountain Valley Pipeline.
This question hasn't been relevant for years, if it ever was, and it is wearisome. I don't recall that MVP has been an issue in the New River Valley's 7th or 12th House legislative district races over the last three election cycles, perhaps longer.
What we should be asking is, how can we benefit from an in-service MVP?
In a March 2021 Roanoke Times commentary ("Why we need the MVP"), I suggested that organizations opposed to MVP drop their delaying tactics and focus on the benefits the pipeline could produce:
• In April 2019, the executive director of the Virginia Petroleum Association stated that the six counties along the Virginia portion of the pipeline would share annually approximately $7 million in new property-tax revenue, paid by MVP, that could support schools, law enforcement and other vital services. It may be that today those property taxes would be higher because of the increased cost of the completed pipeline. I expect local governments would welcome these revenues.
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• Local governments could negotiate with MVP for access to natural gas as a means of supporting economic development and job creation efforts. We know that companies today considering relocation or expansion often require that natural gas be at a site or easily run to it. Local governments might also seek to provide natural gas access to residential areas that lack that availability.
• With continuing residential and commercial growth in and around Christiansburg and Blacksburg, and with Virginia Tech converting from coal to natural gas, we should encourage New River Valley natural gas supplier Atmos Energy to explore negotiating with MVP for additional natural gas capacity, ensuring adequate New River Valley supply into the future.
With it likely that MVP will be placed in service, we should be shifting our focus from opposition to opportunity.