The agriculture industry uses natural gas in a variety of ways, from powering machinery to grain drying and even as a feedstock for fertilizer. And access to this resource is incredibly important for farmers. Bob White, President of the Ohio State Grange recently underscored this fact in an opinion editorial published by The Daily Digger:
For the average American farm, 30% of all operating capital is spent on energy. Natural gas energy in particular has become a must-have input for American farmers, providing between one third and one half of the fossil fuel energy used by farms in the United States over the last 40 years. However, an outdated and unreliable energy pipeline system has made getting this vital resource to farmers difficult, increasing both the price of natural gas and the cost of transporting it to the end user.
Mr. White goes on to illustrate how the Rover Pipeline would facilitate this access for the ag industry in Ohio:
The Rover Pipeline … stands to provide farmers in Ohio and throughout the region with this much-needed access to natural gas. Once finished, the Rover Pipeline will run nearly 710 miles and will transport over 3.25 billion cubic feet of domestically produced natural gas each and every day to end users across the nation. As the 8th largest consumer of natural gas in the United States, this is especially incredible news for Ohioans and our many consumers and businesses that are in need of affordable energy with which to power their homes and operations – including the nearly 75,000 farming operations here in Ohio.
As he relates, modern farmers have made incredible strides in productivity. In order to continue these advances, they need reliable access to natural gas:
The average American farmer now feeds over 155 people, up from roughly 26 people in 1960. Thanks to advances in bioengineering in recent years we are able to develop better and healthier crops that require fewer pesticides and insecticides, getting more and more per acre every year. With an improved energy infrastructure, projects like the Rover pipeline can provide farmers with affordable energy to power their operations and they can in turn continue providing food, fuel, and fiber for our nation and the world.
CEPI joins Mr. White in “urg[ing] the Federal Energy Regulatory to complete its review of the Rover Pipeline and grant final approval in order to jumpstart these many benefits.” We applaud Mr. White for voicing the critical importance of the Rover Pipeline for farmers, businesses, and residents throughout Ohio and the region.