America’s pipeline and midstream infrastructure are the unsung heroes of the country’s domestic energy renaissance and are a vital part of enhancing energy security for American consumers.
Without pipelines life in our country would be radically different, and more expensive.
Energy security is much more than just than the mere presence of fossil fuel resources. Real energy security is continuous access to resources at an affordable price.
Our nation’s ability to transport the surging supplies of domestic crude oil, refined products, and natural gas is the envy of the world – even among resource rich countries who have significant reserves but lack the infrastructure to efficiently and quickly get products where they are needed. It gives us an incredible strategic advantage to:
- Bolster our economy
- Reduce fuel cost and utility bills
- Aide domestic manufacturing
Strengthening America in a competitive and increasingly dangerous world
Expanding and upgrading our nation’s pipeline infrastructure has not only brought more domestic production to the marketplace, but it has also helped reduce our dependency on unstable and unfriendly regimes.
Nations without sufficient pipeline infrastructure know firsthand the dire consequences when pipelines are used as a weapon to shut off supplies in cold winters or to create economic hardship.
Avoiding Economic Hardship
As robust and substantial as our nation’s pipeline is, there are portions of the country that either lack enough capacity to meet market demands or simply just need an upgrade to the system. Foregoing this development can lead to serious economic hardship for families and businesses trying to make ends meet.
For example, New England consumers pay some of the highest electricity rates in the continental United States simply because the region has become increasingly reliant on clean natural gas but it lacks enough supplies and pipeline capacity on cold winter days when electricity and home heating demands are at their highest.
The Polar Vortex exposed this short-sightedness and consumers paid the price – paying billions more for natural gas – unnecessarily than other regions of the country with access to supplies.
Helping Lower Energy Costs
Exorbitant utility and electricity costs are essentially a tax on those that can afford it least and it saps the vitality of energy-intensive manufacturing and entire portions of the nation’s economy still struggling to recover.
Approving new pipeline infrastructure upgrades can go a long way toward:
- Reducing price volatility
- Alleviating supply bottlenecks
- Providing affordable, reliable energy.
Increasingly our energy security also means considering ways we can improve environmental quality. Pipelines play a key role in this solution by reducing air emissions and congestion, all while being the most affordable way to move energy products over long distances.
For instance, a modestly-sized petroleum pipeline (roughly 150,000 barrels per day in capacity) could help:
- Remove as many as 750 trucks from the roads and highways
- Remove the number railcars by 225 per day
By reducing traffic, approving more pipelines significantly help reduce emissions from production fields. Pipeline have also been a substantial part of meeting increasingly stringent air quality standards from regulatory agencies like the EPA.