Picking one type of energy over another can hurt the environment


Categorized in: Infrastructure, National

With anti-pipeline protests much in the news lately, Robert Bryce, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, recently published a guest op-ed that points out how self-proclaimed environmentalists who oppose oil and gas pipelines as part of their “keep it in the ground” strategy may very well be doing more ecological harm than good.

“The Anti-Pipeline Anti-Environmentalists” explains how plans to completely switch to so-called “clean energy” instead of oil and natural gas could wreak land use havoc:

Climate activists are now hoping to block oil and gas pipeline projects across the country due to their claim that we must keep all hydrocarbons in the ground to avert catastrophic climate change. Those same activists repeatedly claim we don’t need fossil fuels because we can rely solely on wind and solar energy.

But while they obsess over our carbon footprint, climate activists don’t give a fig about the land-use footprint of renewables. Indeed, the dirty truth about “clean” energy is that it requires shocking amounts of land. In a recent report for the Manhattan Institute, I show that using wind and solar energy to reduce domestic carbon dioxide emissions by 80% by 2050 (80 by 50) will require covering about 287,700 square miles of territory — an area about the size of Texas and West Virginia combined.

Energy Citizens have been making similar points for years. Selectively choosing one energy resource over another never works. Our lifestyles depend on a commonsense mix of all forms of energy, the “all of the above” energy strategy that should be the goal of U.S. energy policies.

It’s up to us to keep reminding decision-makers in state and federal government to support energy policies – such as the reasonable use of pipelines – that will supply us with the energy we need.

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Why Florida Needs More Pipelines


Categorized in: Florida, Infrastructure, Natural Gas

Pipelines bring affordable, clean energy. That’s the simple message that Energy Citizens need to tell our fellow Floridians.

There are plans to build new pipelines in our state. Unfortunately, a committed band of activists are trying to stop this investment in Florida’s energy infrastructure. We can’t afford to let extremists stand in the way of these much-needed projects.

One of those pipelines is the Sabal Trail. Andrea Grover of Sabal Trail explains its importance in the Tallahassee Democrat:

Current natural gas pipeline infrastructure in Florida isn’t adequate to meet increased demand for natural gas. This is why Florida Power & Light (FPL) and Duke Energy back the Sabal Trail pipeline.

Their goal is to lower emissions, provide clean natural gas-fueled power plants and decrease customer bills. As one of the largest projects under construction in the industry, both FPL and Duke Energy will receive stable, reliable and low-cost natural gas supply from Sabal Trail.

FPL needs Sabal Trail to provide fuel for its natural gas-fueled power plants. The company has shut down several oil- and coal-fueled power plants and invested in new, highly efficient clean energy centers, saving its customers billions in fuel costs while reducing carbon emissions.

While Ms. Grover is talking about the Sabal Trail project, she could really be talking about any new pipeline. America is in the midst of an energy renaissance, and while we are currently the world’s top producer of natural gas, we need more infrastructures to maintain the US role as an energy superpower. Specific to Floridians, local consumers can’t take advantage of the benefits that America’s abundant natural gas will bring unless we expand the state’s energy infrastructure.

Let’s make sure that Energy Citizens get the word out about the importance of new pipelines this year.

The Strong Safety Record of Pipelines


Categorized in: Colorado, Infrastructure, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, National, New England, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Pipelines have been in the news a lot lately. While activists trying to shut down new pipeline projects make wild claims about their safety, the scientific facts prove the opposite.

  • To prevent leaks, state-of-the-art technology similar to a doctor’s ultrasound machine or MRI is used on the inside of the pipe to scan the walls for any potential problems. In 2012 alone, $2.1 billion was spent by liquid pipeline operators to evaluate, inspect and maintain their pipelines.
  • Liquid pipeline incidents are down 50% since 1999.
  • Corrosion as a cause of pipeline incidents is down 76% since 1999.

Lawmakers and regulators should not be misled by false claims about pipelines. The industry’s commitment to safety through best practices and with the use of modern technology allows companies to ensure that pipelines deliver energy products safely 99.99% of the time. They are also needed to ensure that consumers have access to clean, affordable energy in the years to come. In the debate over expanding our energy infrastructure and greater natural gas use, it’s vital that we keep politics aside and instead focus on the long-term benefits for our country that take the form of lower energy prices, greater job creation, and environmental benefits.

Understanding Infrastructure


Categorized in: Colorado, Infrastructure, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, National, New England, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

If we don’t understand how oil and natural gas get from the wellhead to the consumers or commercial users, we don’t understand energy. Energy infrastructure – pipelines, roads, bridges, rail lines, processing plants, storage facilities, etc. – enables us to maintain and even grow the lifestyle that we have today. Today, we need to devote just as much time to learning about – and advocating for – energy infrastructure as we do to fracking, offshore resource access, or any of the other major issues that surround U.S. energy security.

To most of us, pipelines are the first thing we imagine when we hear about energy infrastructure. They are critically important to moving both domestically produced and imported fuels that we use every day, and they are essential to transporting the oil and gas by-products that feed the U.S. manufacturing industry. In fact, our country has a robust network of energy pipelines that moves 14 billion barrels of crude oil, among other oil and gas-related products.

But don’t forget that rail cars move oil and liquefied natural gas too. So do trucks. And the processing facilities that prepare natural gas to be used and storage tanks that hold it in reserve for those winter days when we need more energy are all critical oil and gas infrastructure components as well.

Energy infrastructure is a big issue and an important one. This factsheet – Energy Infrastructure 101 – is a good place to start finding out about infrastructure and understanding why it is so important to our nation.

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URGENT ACTION VIRGINIA: Oppose Anti-Energy Amendments


Categorized in: Infrastructure, Jobs, Virginia

Governor McAuliffe and anti-energy agitators are pushing burdensome new regulations in the state legislature that are meant to stop Virginia energy development. They would add new layers of red tape and regulation, resulting in economic harm, lost jobs, and even higher energy costs.

Because this issue is advancing fast, please email your Virginia Senator now.

We must oppose the loud voices of radical anti-energy activists who are pushing their agenda in Richmond. It’s critical that Virginia Energy Citizens stand up for local energy development.

We must oppose the loud voices of radical anti-energy activists who are pushing their agenda in Richmond. It’s critical that our industry workforce stand up for safe energy development here in Virginia.

Energy Infrastructure for Michigan Manufacturing


Categorized in: Infrastructure, Jobs, Michigan, Natural Gas

To grow our economy and maintain our quality of life, we need to ensure that energy supplies can reach us reliably and affordably well into the future. That’s why it’s critical that Michiganders recognize the need for current and expanded energy infrastructure.

Michigan’s Antrim Shale is the source of some of our oil and natural gas, but ultimately we must bring in most of our energy from other areas. We are an intensive user of energy, not only because of our cold winters, but also because of our strong manufacturing sector.

Every business needs power—and for some businesses, the price of energy can be the difference between success and failure. Auto, chemical, glass, and paper manufacturing—all strong industries in Michigan—use a lot of power. For these industries to continue thriving, they need dependable fuel supplies made possible by sufficient energy infrastructure.

In addition, chemical manufacturing depends on natural gas and petroleum products as building blocks. Without adequate energy infrastructure, we could see chemical companies looking at expansion opportunities—out of state.

The elections, as well as post-election discussions, have brought renewed focus on the need to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. This year, we’re likely to see increased federal support for building and improving roads, bridges, airports, and rail. Pipelines and other energy infrastructure should also be on the table.

Energy infrastructure investment will come from the private sector—so no taxpayer dollars will be needed. But for these projects to move forward, we need the support of local, state, and federal officials. The engaged voices of Michigan Energy Citizens can help make it happen.

Why Pennsylvania Needs Expanded Energy Infrastructure


Categorized in: Infrastructure, Pennsylvania

Shale gas is doing great things for Pennsylvania, including creating jobs and leading to a resurgence in manufacturing here, but the US energy renaissance can do even more for our commonwealth.

The Cranberry Eagle reports on a recent conference that discussed the shale gas industry’s potential. Jeremy Zeman, Manager Commercial Development at Williams Companies discussed the challenges facing the industry right now:

He said 3,300 miles of shale gas pipeline exists in the state, which is a significant increase since 2010. But more is needed.

“A major amount of supply is coming out of this region…. Today, 25 to 30 percent of Marcellus shale wells have no pipeline connected to them,” Zeman said.

Furthermore, Mr. Zeman pointed out that all of Pennsylvania would benefit from additional infrastructure that moves shale gas from the well to the processing plant and then to the market. Not only will these infrastructure projects spur growth in the shale industry, they will also have direct benefits for workers:

Bob Wilds, director of pipeline operations at the International Union of Operating Engineers, said pipelines for shale gas have been a boon to the heavy equipment operators and mechanics who are members of the union.

It’s time for Pennsylvania to embrace new pipelines and other infrastructure to support development of our energy resources. Energy Citizens should make sure that this is a top priority in Harrisburg for 2017.

Energy and Infrastructure Are Key Building Blocks for Minnesota’s Economy


Categorized in: Infrastructure, Minnesota

Though Minnesota is not among key energy-producing states, the state’s economy and way of life rely heavily on energy supplies for power and as building blocks for essential materials and products.

To grow our economy and maintain our quality of life, we need to ensure that energy supplies can reach us dependably and affordably. That’s why it’s critical that Minnesotans recognize the need to build new and expanded energy infrastructure.

Two-thirds of Minnesotans homes are heated with natural gas. But the largest user of natural gas in the state is our industrial sector, including food, chemical, and building material manufacturers.

Natural gas is also a fundamental component for agriculture. It is a building block for fertilizer manufacturing, and grain drying depends on natural gas. Without access to affordable natural gas, leading Minnesota companies such as Cargill, General Mills, and 3M—not to mention many smaller companies—would face significant challenges.

Minnesota also serves as an important transportation hub—for fuel, people, and products. The St. Paul Park Refinery and the Pine Bend Refinery both produce gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel used in the state and shipped throughout the Midwest. These fuels help keep barges on the Mississippi operating and planes flying to and from MSP. But these refineries and their customers rely on energy infrastructure to keep raw materials and finished fuel products flowing.

The elections, as well as post-election discussions, have brought renewed focus on the need to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. This year, we’re likely to see increased federal support for building and improving roads, bridges, airports, and rail. Pipelines and other energy infrastructure should also be on the table.

Investment in energy infrastructure projects like pipelines will come from the private sector—so no taxpayer dollars will be needed. But for these projects to move forward, we need the support of local, state, and federal officials. The supportive voices of Minnesota Energy Citizens can help make it happen.

It would be a cold winter without energy infrastructure


Categorized in: Illinois, Infrastructure

Now that the full weight of winter is upon us, energy infrastructure is our lifeline to heating our homes and workplaces. This same infrastructure also ensures safe and comfortable travels by keeping our roads and highways clear of snow and ice and our airports open for business.

In Illinois, where 80 percent of households depend on natural gas as their main space heating fuel, pipelines keep the energy flowing. During the cold months, our state uses 44 percent more energy per home than the U.S. average.

Investing in pipelines, rail lines, storage facilities and other components of our energy infrastructure will ensure that we have the energy needed to make it through the cold months. And those investments will provide jobs and tax revenues. Pipeline investments needed over the next few years could create over 198,000 new jobs in our region.

We might not be able to influence the temperature in the winter, but we can prepare for it by making sure our energy infrastructure is up to the task of keeping us supplied with fuel. As a new year begins, join Energy Citizens to support the commonsense policies that pave the way for infrastructure investment.

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Local Battle Loom in 2017


Categorized in: Colorado, Domestic Oil, Infrastructure, Jobs, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, National, New England, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, West Virginia, Wisconsin

Happy New Year! We’re excited about the opportunities in 2017 for Energy Citizens to support job creation, strengthen our nation’s security, and keep energy affordable.

All eyes are now on Washington, but the fact is that we must prepare for challenges across the states. As part of a larger effort to shut down American oil and natural gas, anti-energy activist plan to battle critical pipeline projects and pro-energy policies at the local level.

“The opposition is going to be much more local, much more focused.” — Anti-Energy Leader Jane Kleeb

But communicating to government alone will not win the day. We also need to reach out to members of our communities… to friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and our social networks. It’s important that we talk about why energy is important to us and why we need policies and leadership that support American energy development.

As a first step in highlighting the importance of energy to our local communities, it would be great if you would share your story. How is American energy helping your family, community, and state? Share why you’re standing up for American energy.

As we move forward, we’ll be asking you to share your views—and your story—with others so that pro-energy voices can be part of policy discussions.