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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Why Energy Infrastructure Is an Opportunity for Bipartisanship

infrastructure  pipelines  labor unions  economic growth 

Lem Smith

Lem Smith
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.

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Lost Infrastructure is Lost Opportunity for Local Businesses and Communities

keystone xl  pipeline expansion  infrastructure 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted February 11, 2021

In the public debate over natural gas and oil pipelines, it’s often underappreciated how much infrastructure projects boost local economies and support “induced” jobs – those based on the spending of industry workers and associated suppliers and contractors. Losing these benefits is felt by all kinds of businesses and service sectors along the route of the canceled Keystone XL pipeline.

The industry shares President Biden’s goal of getting Americans back to work, and the U.S. can accelerate job creation by addressing the nation’s critical need for more energy infrastructure. Unfortunately, the decision to halt Keystone XL construction undermines the “Build Back Better” plan and hurts small communities and their residents.

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Pipeline Infrastructure as a Bipartisan Issue

infrastructure  pipelines  keystone xl  safe operations 

Mark Green

Mark Green
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.

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Ready For Recovery: Four Reasons to Invest in Natural Gas and Oil Infrastructure

infrastructure  investments  pipelines  jobs 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted January 5, 2021

As we begin the new year, it’s worth recognizing that the challenges facing our lawmakers are immense. But with consensus-driven approaches, we believe the public and private sectors can partner to deliver post-pandemic recovery and long-term economic growth for America.

Of course, rebuilding the nation’s economy will require realistic and workable energy solutions – ones that prioritize resource development and infrastructure expansion. Here’s why investing in modern energy infrastructure can build pathways for economic and environmental progress.

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API Standard Earns DHS Certification Under 9-11 Anti-Terrorism Act

api standards program  safety standards  infrastructure 

API CEO Mike Sommers

Mike Sommers
Posted November 24, 2020

The world changed on 9-11, mine and yours. ...

You’re probably like me. The vivid memories of that day make it hard to believe it happened two whole decades ago. We know now what we may have only sensed then – that 9-11 was an historic pivot point for the United States in terms of our economy, security and the way we approach life.

As president and CEO of the nation’s largest trade association representing the natural gas and oil industry, I’m reminded that 9-11 really helped galvanize our country’s focus on the security of our nation’s infrastructure to harden it against any future acts of terrorism, from our airlines to our supply chains to our energy grid. Natural gas and oil keep America running. After 9-11 we innovated and developed technologies to dramatically increase domestic production and become less dependent on foreign oil. We haven’t looked back; today, the U.S. is the world’s leading producer of the world’s more important energy sources.

9-11 is a big part of the reason that our industry’s approach to assessing risk shifted to a higher gear, to protect our facilities and networks against threats of terrorism – adding risk assessment to API’s body of work on standards that govern the way we operate.

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Energy Policy in the New Administration

federal leases  offshore development  regulation  infrastructure  president 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted November 13, 2020

Some initial thoughts on energy policy as we look ahead to a new administration and Congress.

First, as API President and CEO Mike Sommers said over the weekend, natural gas and oil will continue to play an important role in the United States’ continued economic recovery – recognizing that, as the leading energy sources for the U.S. economy, the two are essential for growth. ...

Our country needs Washington focused on economic recovery and forward-thinking about energy and climate change, factoring in how much energy will be needed when the U.S. and global economies ramp up (see API Chief Economist Dean Foreman’s post, here), while building on reductions in emissions to date and fostering innovation that will enable a safe, secure and cleaner future. To that point, our industry supports continued development and wider deployment of carbon capture, utilization and storage as a tool to further reduce emissions, which the president-elect also supports.

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Infrastructure: Catalyst for Progress, More Equitable Access to Energy

infrastructure  pipelines  access  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 25, 2020

A call for environmental justice (EJ) is featured in U.S. House climate legislation being debated in Congress. While the EJ section of House Democrats’ climate plan focuses on environmental goals, one part calls for an energy justice and democracy program at the U.S. Energy Department to reduce energy poverty and to ensure communities have equitable access to energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Building or expanding America’s natural gas pipeline network is key to reducing energy poverty in the U.S. – seeing that Americans, no matter where they live, can get affordable natural gas for home heating, cooking and other uses. Thanks to abundant, affordable natural gas, U.S. power sector emissions of carbon dioxide are at their lowest levels in a generation. Increasing infrastructure capacity, increasing natural gas use, supports this beneficial trend.

Unfortunately, this kind of energy fairness isn’t a reality everywhere in the U.S. Some Americans have no choice but to use wood-burning fireplaces or stoves to heat their homes, due to the lack of safe, reliable pipelines and other infrastructure to get energy where consumers want and need it.   

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Hurricane Laura: Three Things to Know

hurricane preparedness  infrastructure  fuels 

Jessica  Lutz

Jessica Lutz
Posted August 26, 2020

As officials at the National Hurricane Center monitor the projected path of Laura (below, as of Wednesday evening), here are a few things to know about the U.S. natural gas and oil industry’s preparations:

1.We’re focused on the safety of workers, communities and infrastructure

2. U.S. energy leadership, lower demand mean inventories of refined products are strong

3. America’s energy infrastructure network is modern and diverse

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Cybersecurity Key to Protecting Critical Energy Infrastructure

cybersecurity  infrastructure  security 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted August 7, 2020

Modern, resilient natural gas and oil infrastructure is vital to maintaining U.S. energy affordability and economic competitiveness. As the industry undergoes rapid digitalization, reliability remains fundamental to energy operations, particularly as cybersecurity risks present emerging challenges.

The U.S. has been subject to an increasing volume of malicious cyberattacks from China, Russia and other foreign adversaries, posing a persistent threat to our national security and grid reliability. Within the next two years, 2.5 billion industrial devices will be brought online in the energy industry, meaning the need to protect our critical infrastructure assets has never been more urgent.

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Proposals Point to Need for Renewed, Streamlined NWP 12 Program

pipelines  permitting  safe operations  infrastructure 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 6, 2020

There are two new developments with the federal Nationwide Permit 12 program (NWP 12), which is critically important for key infrastructure projects of all kinds. Both point to the need for a clear, efficient, common-sense permitting program that balances environmental protection with streamlining projects that have limited environmental impacts.

Achieving this is occurring on two tracks. U.S. senators have introduced legislation that would cut red tape and in the short term help reestablish regulatory order and allow infrastructure projects to proceed if they’re following certain species protection rules already in the NWP 12. Meanwhile the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a proposal that includes renewing more than 50 Nationwide Permits for the next five years. This is important because the permits would expire in March 2022 otherwise.

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