FERC’s faulty data there for all to see
Highland County reassessment office records show a very large drop in land values within a half mile of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. I’m sure that virtually all properties on or near the proposed pipeline have lost value as well.
We knew this would happen, although both the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), in their environmental impact statements, and the ACP told us that natural gas pipelines do not lower property values.
This is a real blow to affected property owners. It is also a blow to our communities, as lower property values mean lower tax revenues, and reduced community services. We all worked hard to buy our properties and our homes, and to make our community a place where we all prosper together.
FERC and the ACP used faulty data. They cherry picked industry studies that were without scientific merit. Almost all of the studies were located in urban or suburban areas. One study was claimed to be a rural study in Katy, Texas, but which is described elsewhere as the fastest growing suburb of Houston, with a population over 15,000. That’s about twice the population of Bath and Highland Counties combined, and hardly rural.
FERC also stated that they contacted real estate appraisers who confirmed that property values would not fall. An examination revealed that FERC consulted with only one appraiser, in Pennsylvania, and he could not determine if natural gas pipelines affect property values.
Despite comments to the FERC record citing numerous non industry studies and legal precedent indicating substantial loss of property value, FERC maintained its erroneous opinion throughout the ACP application process.
The News Virginia – 01.05.18
Posted by: Nelson Bailey