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Gas Pipeline Draws Support, Opposition, in West Virginia

Officials have heard from supporters and opponents of the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would carry natural gas down the center of West Virginia for 195 miles.

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia residents were divided during the final state public hearing on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, which would carry natural gas down the center of West Virginia for 195 miles.

Several urged state permit approvals for the project and its jobs. Some others at the Thursday hearing warned of damage from construction, erosion and the aerial herbicide spraying along the right of way that would continue perpetually.

Greg Hefner, a FirstEnergy manager representing the Harrison County Economic Development Corp., said construction would involve about $811 million in capital expenditures in the area, $47 million in state and local tax revenue and 4,500 jobs and pay taxes during its lifetime. "West Virginia simply cannot afford to lose out on this unique opportunity," he said.

But Tom Bond, a farmer and retired professor with a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, said the company will take land in perpetuity, and other land will be affected. He added that the science shows fossil fuels are warming the planet's climate.

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