RALEIGH — State Sen. Danny Earl Britt Jr. and Rep. Brenden Jones have joined a large number of elected officials to endorse the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, a 600-mile natural gas pipeline that begins in West Virginia and will end in Robeson County.
Britt, a Lumberton resident, represents the 13th District, which includes all of Robeson and Columbus counties. Jones is from Tabor City and represents District 46, which includes parts of Robeson, Columbus and Bladen counties. Both are freshman lawmakers and Republicans. Rep. Charles Graham, who also represents part of Robeson County, has previously endorsed the project.
The news came in a press release from Aaron Ruby, media relations manager for Dominion Resources, which has partnered with Duke Energy, Piedmont Natural Gas and the Southern Company to finance the $5 billion project.
Federal, state and Robeson County elected officials are virtually unanimous in their support of the project, which will serve several electric generating stations along its route.
Greg Cummings, Robeson County’s director of Economic Development, said recently that industry runs on competitively priced natural gas and prospective industries require it. He said it is critical to the county’s ability to recruit industry that will provide jobs and add to the tax base.
Even critics of the pipeline say the support of elected officials is vital for the success of a project like this.
“People need to get in touch with their local elected officials. They can be critical in defeating a project like this,” Greg Yost, of the Alliance to Protect Our People and Places Where We Live, said during a protest rally in mid-March.
County officials have rejected critics of the pipeline. The list of endorsements includes the Robeson County Commissioners, the county Municipal Association, the joint Chambers of Commerce and the Committee of 100.
Elected officials who have endorsed the Atlantic Coast Pipeline include U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, U.S. Rep. David Rouzer, U.S. Rep. George Holding, U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, U.S. Rep. Mike McIntyre (former), U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers (former), North Carolina Rep. Kenneth Goodman, Rep. Bobbie Richardson, Rep. James Langdon Jr., Rep. Marvin Lucas, Rep. Michael Wray, Speaker of the House Rep. Tim Moore, Rep. John Szoka, Rep. Paul Tine (former), Rep. Ken Waddell (former), Sen. Angela Bryant, Sen. Brent Jackson, Sen. Buck Newton (former), Sen. Ronald Rabin, Sen. Bill Rabon, Sen. Jane Smith (former), Sen. Eric Smith-Ingram, Sen. Michael Walters (former) and Rep. N. Leo Daughtry (former).