July 10, 2017

Consumer Energy Alliance Study Underscores Importance of Pipeline Infrastructure

Everyday, pipeline infrastructure systems provide Americans across the country with reliable access to the energy resources they need. But just what would that system look like without the proper maintenance that keeps the system running smoothly? Consumer Energy Alliance set out to answer that question in a recent study titled “Families, Communities and Finances: The Consequences of Denying Critical Pipeline Infrastructure.”

The report “examines the impacts on supply by 2030 from (1) the failure to permit and construct new pipeline infrastructure, (2) the inability to obtain necessary permits and approvals for coal, natural gas, nuclear and petroleum fired electricity generation power and maintain existing generation.”

Among the key findings of the study are:

  • Creating a shortfall of one-third of electricity generation needs from the overall U.S. electricity market
    • This is equal to the power generation total of 12 states including: California, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New York, Texas, and all of New England
  • Threatening the future reliability of electricity supply and the electrical grid due to lack of reliable baseload electricity by 2030
  • Increasing costs of energy for consumers and creating significant economic hardship
    • Disproportionate harm to those in poverty, on fixed incomes and society’s margins
      • Power plant closures would disproportionately hurt the 43 million people in poverty and those on fixed incomes, including 46 million senior citizens
      • An increase in electricity rates for residential, commercial and industrial users would adversely impact every user’s budget
  • Lost jobs in manufacturing, energy, transportation, mining, agriculture and other industries
    • Competitive disadvantages with low-cost global competition in areas such as manufacturing, steel production and petrochemicals
    • The prevention, at a minimum, of $15.38 billion in private capital expenditures and economic development in the U.S. economy due to the halt in construction of petroleum and natural gas liquids (NGL) pipelines
    • Elimination of approximately 40 natural gas midstream and pipeline infrastructure projects with enough potential capacity to power over 1.2 million homes if used for residential electricity
  • Increasing the cost of virtually every good and service in the U.S. due to increases in electricity, transportation fuels and utility costs
  • Potential public safety and additional environmental impacts associated with delivering needed energy to consumers and markets
  • Reducing energy security benefits and geopolitical leverage and increased reliance on imported energy
  • The need for the U.S. to import additional energy supplies in order to meet the tremendous shortfall – often at unpredictable prices based on global markets
  • Planned petroleum pipeline stoppages that would result in stranding over 3.17 million barrels of oil per day – nearly the equivalent of daily imported oil from OPEC and Russia in 20153

Clearly, continued investment in pipeline projects over the coming decades will be critical to maintaining affordable energy access for consumers throughout the U.S, and projects like the Rover Pipeline will ensure that access for years into the future. CEPI applauds the Consumer Energy Alliance for conducting an informative study that illuminates the vital importance of underground pipeline infrastructure.

Read the full report here.