Energy Tomorrow Blog
Posted August 7, 2020
News item from Bloomberg: TC Energy Corp. has reached agreements with four labor unions to build the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline – a move that could amplify political pressure on Joe Biden, who has threatened to rip up permits for the project even as he courts blue-collar workers.
Details in the announcement from TC Energy, Keystone XL’s builder: The project labor agreement (PLA) is with the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA); Keystone XL will have 10,000 high-paying construction jobs, primarily filled by union workers; 2,000 unionized workers will start building some of the project’s 28 planned U.S. pump stations this fall, according to Bloomberg.
Overall, Keystone XL is projected to support 42,000 U.S. jobs and generate $2 billion in earnings for U.S. workers during pipeline construction, according to the U.S. State Department, which also found that the project won’t significantly impact climate or the environment.
Posted May 18, 2020
America’s extensive network of pipelines and energy infrastructure safely connects our abundant natural gas and oil resources with refineries, businesses and consumers. The U.S. liquids pipeline system, which stretches more than 218,000 miles, delivered 21.8 billion barrels of crude oil and refined products in 2018 – the essential link between domestic energy and Americans’ daily lives.
The industry’s commitment to safety and sustainability, through industry-led reporting, standards-setting and performance initiatives, has contributed to ongoing improvements in pipeline operations. This month, API and our partner associations released two new reports that show declining pipeline-related incidents and continuous improvement in environmental performance – both enhanced by growing use of safety management systems.
Posted April 2, 2020
TC Energy’s announcement that it will proceed with building the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline is a big deal in terms of vital energy for America, jobs, economic growth and North American security. The 1,210-mile pipeline – able to safely deliver 830,000 barrels per day from Canada’s oil sands region in Alberta to the U.S. heartland – figures to be a significant, long-awaited progress toward helping secure this country’s future energy needs.
I say “long-awaited” because my first API writing assignment was about the KXL – nearly nine years ago!
Over that time the pipeline became a political football – a debate in which the basic facts were mostly incontestable: thousands of good jobs during KXL’s construction, tens of millions of dollars in property and income tax revenues to different levels of government and no significant effect on the climate or environment, according to the U.S. State Department, which conducted six comprehensive scientific reviews.
Posted February 12, 2020
You won’t find better examples of how the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has blocked much-needed infrastructure than in Colorado – where the first of two public hearings on implementing the regulation was held this week.
Numerous projects in Colorado have been – or are currently – on-hold due to NEPA reviews, including the Interstate-70 widening near Denver that will deliver much-needed safety and capacity improvements for drivers. The Environmental Impact Statement for this highway took 13 years to complete and totaled nearly 16,000 pages, finally receiving construction approval in 2017.
Posted January 9, 2020
Today, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) proposed reforms to regulations that implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which stand to improve the permitting and approval processes for energy and other infrastructure projects across the U.S. By streamlining federal regulations, businesses and government agencies can develop new infrastructure that generates good-paying jobs, spurs economic growth and protects the environment.
America’s robust, state-of-the-art energy infrastructure allows natural gas and oil producers to safely and seamlessly deliver affordable fuels to consumers. The nation’s complex and extensive network of pipelines, roads, railways, ports and export terminals is fundamental to our energy and environmental progress. Expanding and upgrading this system ensures that abundant, homegrown energy will continue to reach American households, businesses and trading partners – but unnecessary, expensive and time-consuming regulations have delayed this critical build-out.
Posted September 17, 2019
Enbridge’s critically important Line 3 replacement project (L3RP) has gained significant support from Canadian First Nations leaders who urged Minnesotans to work with the pipeline company on the project in a recent op-ed in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
“Enbridge addressed our concerns and supported our aspirations by investing in our people and working with us to improve our infrastructure and enhance social programs for our peoples. Over 300 million U.S. dollars were spent with First Nation and First Nation citizen-owned businesses. This economic stimulus benefited more than just the workers, it benefited the families and the Nations we represent.”
Posted August 16, 2019
Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks made history last month by completing the first true beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) flight under the small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) rule. The team flew a long-range hybrid-electric unmanned aircraft nearly four miles along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) as part of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) UAS Integration Pilot Program – and in partnership with Alyeska Pipeline Service Company.
Posted August 9, 2019
Do you know what’s below? If not, dial before you dig.
This Sunday, August 11th is National 8-1-1 Day, a date promoting the awareness of buried pipelines and utilities as you break ground on projects around your home. Careful consideration – and one quick call – can go a long way toward keeping you and your property safe.
Posted July 12, 2019
An interesting read in the Wall Street Journal underscores what we’ve been saying about the nation’s need for more energy infrastructure: Basically, that despite record natural gas production, Americans in some parts of the country aren’t benefiting from it as much as they should. The Journal:
U.S. gas production rose to a record of more than 37 trillion cubic feet last year, up 44% from a decade earlier. Yet the infrastructure needed to move gas around the country hasn’t kept up. … The result, despite natural-gas prices that look low on commodities exchanges, is energy feast and famine.
Posted February 6, 2019
Earlier this week, API President and CEO Mike Sommers and North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) President Sean McGarvey announced the start of new training courses on pipeline construction safety in West Virginia, Ohio and California as part of a groundbreaking partnership that was launched less than a year ago.