Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted August 26, 2021
Calls for new government cybersecurity mandates to protect the nation’s energy infrastructure after the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline earlier this year failed to acknowledge some key things about addressing cyber threats, including:
Cybersecurity not only threatens the pipeline industry, but also all critical infrastructure, industries and even government entities.
The speed with which such threats are evolving, making it unlikely legislation and regulatory processes could keep up.
The degree to which our industry already is engaged with government agencies to identify emerging cyber threats.
Our industry’s strong commitment to take the initiative in protecting its infrastructure and other assets.
That last point provides context for the release of API’s updated Standard 1164, covering pipeline control systems cybersecurity.
John D. Siciliano
Posted August 18, 2021
Expanding the use of carbon capture, utilization and storage technology (CCUS) to commercial scale, by our industry and others, is integral to a lower-carbon future (see API’s Climate Action Framework). Elements of the latest edition of API’s most widely used pipeline standard provide important support for CCUS expansion.
API Standard 1104 (22nd edition, “Welding Pipelines and Related Facilities”) includes new technology and safety provisions for pipeline transportation of not only oil but also carbon dioxide collected by CCUS technology for storage or use in a variety of technologies and essential products – including construction materials, a range of cleaner-burning fuels, carbon nanotubes for advanced electronics and batteries, and other critical materials.
API Standard 1104 provides requirements for the types of welding needed to construct and maintain pipelines that transport both conventional commodities and carbon dioxide. The standard’s updated requirements are designed to enhance pipeline safety, structural integrity and efficiency through application of API’s world-class standard.
Posted July 7, 2021
To serve consumers, support economic growth and help protect the environment, the U.S. needs more natural gas pipeline infrastructure. Last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision – that states do not have an outsized authority to block federally approved projects from obtaining the land for those pipeline routes – is a significant step forward for those purposes.
The decision underscores the authority of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under the federal Natural Gas Act (NGA) to review and approve pipeline projects that demonstrate a public necessity and cross state lines, such as the 116-mile PennEast natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Jersey.
The NGA delegates the federal government’s eminent domain authority to private parties once FERC has approved and certified the pipeline project, which allows those who invest in and build pipelines to have regulatory certainty and a clear permitting process.
Posted June 10, 2021
Throughout the 2021 economic recovery, API’s data have demonstrated the intertwined relationship between the nation’s recovering economy and affordable, reliable energy. Leading economic indicators have continued to rise, and along with them so has oil demand – even as domestic oil drilling and supply have fallen.
According to the current Bloomberg consensus of economic forecasters, U.S. real GDP growth could average 6.6% in 2021 compared with 2020 -- its strongest expansion since 1984, when the real price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was just over $70 per barrel. Coincidentally, recent oil prices have been at similar levels, and the key question now is whether we have the energy supply to support such a torrid pace of growth.
In that context, actions by the Biden administration that negatively impact or could impact domestic oil and natural gas production appear detached from the nation’s critical need for secure, accessible energy.
Posted June 1, 2021
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm continues voicing support for our nation’s pipeline network, which is critically important to Americans’ everyday lives, the economy, national security and environmental progress.Granholm last month said pipelines are “the best way to go” to deliver fuels after a cyberattack disrupted service on the Colonial fuels pipeline. Last week she said her department wants to build more pipes, particularly to transport low-carbon fuels.
Posted May 5, 2021
The United States’ energy relationship with Canada is vital to our economy (as well as Canada’s) and energy security – which makes the administration’s Day 1 cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline and its omission of pipelines in its new infrastructure initiative look short-sighted.
A new U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) brief on U.S. crude oil imports underscores the importance of imported Canadian crude oil – in reducing U.S. reliance on imports from other suppliers and in filling the needs of U.S. refineries that are configured to process heavier crudes, including those from Western Canada.
Posted April 29, 2021
With President Biden committing the U.S. to a more than 50% reduction in economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 – nearly double the previous national target – some policy experts say America will need natural gas and a modern pipeline network to reach the goal.Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy recently published an energy infrastructure report – “Investing in the U.S Natural Gas Pipeline System to Support Net-Zero Targets” – underscoring the importance of natural gas in achieving meaningful environmental progress.
Posted April 13, 2021
The Biden Administration’s goal of modernizing the nation’s infrastructure – including roads, bridges, rail and ports – is something that all Americans can support. At API we have long touted the compounding benefits of upgrading our nation’s infrastructure. The positives go well beyond material enhancements to include creating new jobs, helping communities nationwide, improving efficiencies throughout the economy by reducing congestion and delay, and – in the case of pipelines – bolstering safety and environmental performance.
Early outlines of the Administration’s plan include ambitious goals and many strengths. But it’s important to note that it misses an opportunity to take an across-the-board approach to addressing all our country’s current and future infrastructure needs, including modernizing the pipelines that power our modern lives.
Posted February 25, 2021
The natural gas and oil industry shares the ambition of President Biden and Congress to accelerate economic recovery for all Americans. As policymakers consider the nation’s energy security and opportunities for future job creation, it is important not to overlook our critical energy infrastructure.
That reality came into stark focus last week, when winter storms and surging energy demand caused power outages across Texas and other parts of the U.S. Millions of residents were without electricity, water and heat amid frigid temperatures. The treacherous conditions served as a reminder that an all-of-the-above approach to energy along with durable infrastructure are essential to powering life in America without interruption.
When it comes to heating homes, fueling cars or simply keeping the lights on, America’s extensive pipeline network ensures widespread access to affordable, reliable fuels. But we cannot stop there.
Posted February 9, 2021
As the White House considers where it stands on existing and future pipeline projects that bring the nation’s abundant domestic natural gas and oil – as well as products made from them – to where consumers need them, it should factor in that building and operating pipelines create and support tens of thousands of jobs, generate bipartisan support in Congress and are coveted by working men and women in America’s labor unions.
Exhibit A is last week’s U.S. Senate vote supporting the Keystone XL pipeline, the huge infrastructure project President Biden canceled his first day in office – and with it more than 1,000 union jobs. Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Jon Tester of Montana made support for the project bipartisan, and Manchin this week wrote a letter to the president asking him to reconsider his decision. ...
While Senate budget votes are largely symbolic, last week's vote has meaning going forward as the administration weighs other pipeline projects – projects that create jobs and help ensure the affordability and reliability of U.S. energy.
Exhibit B: Remarks by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in an Axios on HBO interview, critical of the president's Keystone XL cancellation.