Contrary to what some of your readers may think based on the slanted coverage in The Roanoke Times, many people in the Roanoke Valley region wholeheartedly support the Mountain Valley Pipeline project.

In conversations with friends, colleagues and neighbors over the last several months, it has become clear to me that many of us welcome the economic and societal benefits that this project offers our region and our country.

Thanks to newly discovered reserves of natural gas in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, our country is finally on the path to energy independence and revitalized manufacturing, plus a dramatic reduction in our carbon emissions.

However, the challenge we face is in bringing these new gas reserves to the markets where they're needed for manufacturing, home heating and electricity generation. That's why the Mountain Valley Pipeline is so important.

Some areas in our region already have natural gas service, but many still don’t, and those areas are losing major economic opportunities because of it. The Mountain Valley Pipeline offers us the chance to expand gas service in these areas and attract the companies and residential development needed for growth and prosperity.

Finally, for those of us who are aware of the challenge of funding our public schools and local transportation infrastructure, we welcome the millions of dollars in new tax revenue the Mountain Valley Pipeline will bring to the county each year.

These are important opportunities offered by the Mountain Valley Pipeline, and many of us in the Roanoke region fully embrace them.

CHARLES S. WERTALIK

SALEM