The U.S. is in the midst of a shale gas production boom. This energy development is creating jobs and helping communities throughout the nation. Unfortunately, the lack of infrastructure to move this natural gas to market is threatening to slow down this job creation. It’s time for the U.S. to build the infrastructure to keep the energy economy booming!
Marcellus Shale Needs Pipelines to Thrive
Our natural gas infrastructure has met our needs for decades, but it does not meet today’s needs. This can have real consequences for our ability to produce energy in the U.S.
Business Week puts the problem in perspective:
“As much as 2 billion cubic feet of gas a day are set to flow from the lines in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, bound for markets along the Eastern Seaboard, based on government and pipeline-company projections. About 1,000 Marcellus shale wells sit uncompleted, mainly because of a lack of pipeline infrastructure, according to the Energy Department.”
The story is the same in other areas of the country that have abundant natural gas supplies. Without new pipelines, this gas cannot be accessed. That means no new jobs and no new economic growth.
Consumers Pay When Pipelines are Lacking
Who pays when pipeline infrastructure isn’t built? The consumer.
Just look at the Northeast, where there are constraints on natural gas deliveries due to inadequate pipeline capacity. As the Energy Information Administration points out, this has “contributed to much higher natural gas prices at certain trading points in the Northeast compared to the rest of the United States.”
Our Energy Future Depends on New Infrastructure
Not only will consumers pay more if our infrastructure is not updated, but our energy security will suffer, too.
Because of the increase in natural gas production, the U.S. has a golden opportunity to reduce our reliance on foreign energy imports. For us to move towards greater independence, however, we must have the infrastructure to transport this natural gas. We can’t produce natural gas if we can’t move it where it needs to go.
Without expanding this infrastructure, we will continue to be reliant on energy imports instead of using our own energy resources.
Infrastructure Construction is a Win-Win
What are the benefits when natural gas infrastructure is built or upgraded?
- Local jobs building and updating pipelines and other infrastructure;
- Greater access to markets for American energy;
- Less dependence on foreign sources of energy.
Our energy future depends on our oil and natural gas being able to travel to where it is needed. It’s unfortunate that some activists are opposing efforts to invest in our energy infrastructure. It’s up to Energy Citizens to fight for this infrastructure’s approval. We need to build next-generation pipelines and deploy new technology to reap the benefits of the shale gas revolution.
It’s time to build!