While I have sympathy for the concerns of people living along the Mountain Valley Pipeline route, we also need to see the benefits of our own country’s energy resources through natural gas pipelines.

The Environmental Protection Agency has implemented many regulations that make it clear coal is not going to be a viable energy source to power our homes and businesses. Americans love renewable energy sources, but even the most optimistic estimates show that the development of solar and wind power will take far too long to play a meaningful role in meeting our energy needs.

The obvious alternative is natural gas. Fortunately for America, major deposits of natural gas have been discovered in the Marcellus and Utica shale areas. Pipelines are needed to get the gas to end-markets, including one in our region.

Look no farther than Giles County to see the closure of the Glen Lyn plant as a local example of EPA regulations causing the shutdown of coal-fired power plants. I find it ironic that some of the same groups opposing the pipeline were the ones leading the charge against coal.

We can’t have it both ways. Natural gas is the only realistic and viable option to meet the energy needs of the future. It also has the benefit of being clean and cheap.

For these reasons, the Mountain Valley Pipeline will be a great benefit and resource for our region and for America.