December 16, 2016

As Natural Gas Production Rises, So Too Does Need for Infrastructure

The election of Donald Trump has natural gas producers excited about the future of the industry. According to a recent article published by The Steubenville Herald Star, that optimism is fueled by both a changing administration as well as growing demand for natural gas. This, in turn, leads to a need for increased midstream infrastructure:

The number of active drilling rigs in the Marcellus and Utica region remains lower compared to last year, but recovering prices are allowing the demand to grow. Therefore, now is the time to capitalize with new infrastructure, business leaders believe.

This support for infrastructure extends from business leaders to voters across the region. As a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Manufacturers demonstrated, voters in Ohio are broadly supportive of energy infrastructure. According to NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons:

“It’s time to finally make critical investments in our infrastructure that will support domestic energy development … Americans understand that we have the opportunity to allow projects to move forward that will grow our economy and keep manufacturers of all sizes competitive. It’s not hard to see how modernizing our energy and transportation infrastructure will create good-paying American jobs. Voters clearly recognize this and are demanding action from Washington, D.C.”

Ohio Manufacturers’ Association President Eric Burkland also noted the wealth of support for infrastructure in his state:

“Buckeye State voters overwhelmingly support infrastructure investment because they know it will improve standards of living … From pipeline infrastructure to get Utica Shale resources to market, to locks and dams along the Ohio River, to maritime and transportation infrastructure along Lake Erie, public and private investment in these areas will help get Ohioans working again and revitalize our manufacturing base for years to come.”

Given this groundswell of positive sentiment toward midstream projects, it’s disappointing that several projects still languish under federal review, including the Rover Pipeline:

As natural gas prices slowly recover to make drilling more economically feasible for producers, they are still waiting on several other pipeline projects to receive Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval, including the $5 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the $4.3 billion Rover Pipeline, the $1.75 billion Leach XPress, the $3.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline and the $2 billion Mountaineer XPress.

Pipelines like Rover will not only allow natural gas producers to meet increasing demand in a safe, efficient manner – they’ll create a number of positive impacts during the construction process, including tens of thousands of construction jobs, millions of dollars in tax revenues, and increased demand for goods and services along the construction route. For these many reasons, CEPI joins business leaders in Ohio in encouraging FERC to approve the Rover Pipeline.