Approximately 500 supporters of the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project rallied in Tunkhannock, Pa., on July 20 to call on Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf’s administration to promptly approve permits needed so that construction can begin on the nearly $3 billion energy infrastructure investment forecasted to support approximately 8,000 jobs.
This vital project, which was approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in February 2017, is still in need of environmental permits from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) before construction can begin later this fall.
At the pro-pipeline event, state and local elected officials, local businesses, labor unions and community leaders expressed support for the project, which will create a crucial connection between Pennsylvania and consuming markets all along the East Coast. In the process, it will deliver economic growth, jobs and increased access to affordable, clean-burning energy to homes and businesses.
“We have a lot of gas in Susquehanna County the problem is we can’t get it out of the ground to consumers,” said Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners Chairman Alan Hall. “America benefits by putting pipeline projects like Atlantic Sunrise in the ground.”
“When we have manufacturing and we have industry and when we have citizens who are employed, that embodies the best of what the American dream is all about,” said State Representative Jonathan Fritz (111th District). “That’s what this project and the growth of the energy industry as a whole is all about.”
Last month, more than 115 business, labor and community organizations — representing more than 77,000 members — and over 1,000 individuals voiced their support of the proposed Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline project during a round of public hearings hosted by the PA DEP. Commentators submitted support during the public hearings or through signed letters.
During the second PA DEP comment period, public hearings were held in Lancaster, Wyoming, Columbia and Lebanon counties — four of the 10 counties the planned pipeline will cross in the state. During the 30-day public comment period, officials received remarks from 2,546 commentators: 1,916 (75 percent) voiced support for Atlantic Sunrise, while 630 (25 percent) shared opposition to the project.
In 2015 Pennsylvania State University researchers forecast the Atlantic Sunrise project to directly and indirectly support approximately 8,000 jobs in the 10 Pennsylvania counties during the project’s construction phase, resulting in an estimated $1.6 billion economic impact in the project area.