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Pipeline project would bring thousands of jobs

According to a study conducted by researchers at Pennsylvania State University, the design and construction process of a new natural gas pipeline project will bring in an estimated $1.6 billion in additional wages, revenues and investments to the regional and state economies of Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The results of the analysis show that the Williams Atlantic Sunrise pipeline project has the potential to support about 8,000 jobs, along with an additional $870 million in economic value during the construction of the pipeline.  On top of the jobs and additional economic value, the pipeline will generate an estimated $1.9 billion in annual economic impact, which will support 29 jobs.

Pennsylvania Chamber of Business & Industry President Gene Barr commented on how important the pipeline is to Pennsylvania economy:

Penn State’s report clearly shows how vital this project and others like it are for Pennsylvania’s economy … We need to take advantage of all of our natural resources, and the best way to do that is through more gas infrastructure. The Atlantic Sunrise expansion to the Transco pipeline is projected to support thousands of jobs during construction and thousands more in the drilling and supply chain industries. All told, we are looking at the potential for more than a billion dollars of economic activity as a result of this project.

The analysis includes these key points:

-The design and construction of the project will require an investment of approximately $3 billion by Williams and the co-owner of the greenfield portion of the project.

-The majority of the direct expenditures will be in Pennsylvania, with some materials and labor sourced from other states.

-The multi-year construction phase of the project is expected to result in overall economic impact of $1.6 billion and could engage 8,270 workers in Pennsylvania and Virginia; the 10-county Pennsylvania region of the project is expected to recognize the majority of this impact.

-The ongoing operations of the project are predicted to generate an annual economic impact of $1.96 million and support 29 direct and indirect jobs in two Pennsylvania counties (Columbia and Wyoming) where two new greenfield compressor facilities are proposed.

-Significant federal, state and local taxes would also be generated during the approximate one-year construction phase, including an estimated $31 million in federal taxes and $18 million in state taxes across all county locations hosting construction activity for the project.

The economic analysis was funded by Williams (NYSE: WMB) and was done by IMPLAN, which is a commercial software program “designed to perform input-output economic analysis, to estimate impacts on workforce demands, economic output and value added to each of the counties where construction is expected to occur.”  The software is used by state governments all over the nation for economic, modeling and predicting.  For a complete economic impact report, visit www.williams.com/atlanticsunrise.

The Atlantic Sunrise project is an expansion of the Transco natural gas pipeline, which is currently transporting about 10 percent of the U.S.’ natural gas.  The project will add around 200 miles of new pipe that will expand and extend the existing pipeline to northeastern Pennsylvania.  It will transport approximately 1.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, equal to enough gas for about seven million homes.

Transco General Manager Frank Ferazzi explained that those who have been hit by energy prices will understand how important the expansion is:

Anyone who has experienced a spike in their heating bills understands the importance of this project. There is a critical need for additional pipeline capacity in the region so that northeastern consumers can realize the full benefit of lower-cost energy.

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