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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Industry-Led Efforts Improve Pipeline Safety Performance

pipeline safety  infrastructure  industry standards 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
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.

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Constitution Pipeline Stalls Out, New Yorkers Miss Out

natural gas access  infrastructure  permitting  pipelines  new york 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted March 5, 2020

Politics continues to dictate energy policy in New York – with the state’s consumers paying the price.

Look at the recently announced shelving of the Constitution natural gas pipeline by the Williams Company and its partners. The 124-mile line would have piped natural gas from the nearby Marcellus shale in Pennsylvania into New York. The builders gave up after nearly eight years of trying to get through regulatory red tape and general opposition to new natural gas infrastructure by Albany.

It’s a missed opportunity for New Yorkers. 

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NEPA Reform Needed to Improve Local Infrastructure

environmental review  infrastructure  permit delays 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted February 24, 2020

The nation’s infrastructure needs some love.

To reverse the deteriorating state of the U.S. transportation, communication and energy supply networks – which recently earned a D+ from the American Society of Civil Engineers – we need a national commitment to more purposefully and efficiently get important projects off the drawing board and into development. Without it, America’s ability to compete in the 21st-century economy will be hindered.

As we’ve discussed (here and here), proposed reforms to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are critical to accelerating much-needed infrastructure improvements in every state and, in turn, creating good-paying jobs and spurring economic growth. Review processes under NEPA – which was last updated in 1978 – have significantly impeded infrastructure progress, delaying projects for years and years.

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For NEPA Reform in Colorado & Across the U.S.

environmental review  infrastructure  colorado  pipeline expansion 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
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.

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What’s the Hold Up? On Key Infrastructure, Too Often It’s NEPA

infrastructure  environmental review  environmental impact statements 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 30, 2020

Further down in this post take a look at just a few of the important U.S. infrastructure projects that have been held up by the review processes directed by the current National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

As noted in Sam Winstel’s post earlier this month, NEPA reform proposals recently offered by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) are sorely needed. Some of the projects below are not just years on hold, but decades. And NEPA affects all kinds of infrastructure development, not just our industry’s projects. House Democrats, who just unveiled a multi-billion-dollar infrastructure proposal this week, should take note.   

CEQ proposals would improve NEPA permitting and approval processes on energy and other vital infrastructure projects while still ensuring the appropriate environmental assessments and protections are undertaken.

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Trump's NEPA Reform Is Essential For Energy Development

environmental review  energy development  infrastructure 

General Counsel Paul Afonso

Paul Afonso
Posted January 27, 2020

This article originally appeared in Law360.

The White House Council on Environmental Quality’s proposed update to the procedural regulations under the National Environmental Policy Act[1] offers an opportunity to unleash the infrastructure required for sustainable 21st century energy.

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NEPA Reform Provides Foundation for Energy Progress

environmental review  infrastructure  pipeline expansion 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
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.

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We Can Multi-Task on Infrastructure, Reducing CO2

carbon storage  infrastructure 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 16, 2019

We and others in our industry talk frequently about how the United States has the ability to meet the dual challenges of securing affordable, reliable energy while our nation also addresses the risks of climate change (see here and here). …

Certainly, this industry mindset comes through in two new reports from the National Petroleum Council – one on deploying, at scale, carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) technologies into the energy and industrial marketplace, and another on the need for new energy infrastructure.

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Infrastructure – So No One is Left Out in the Cold

infrastructure  natural gas  pipelines  consumers 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 12, 2019

News that the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is bringing attention to the need for a natural gas pipeline to serve an impoverished area near Chicago makes a lot of sense. No person should be preparing for the approaching winter without clean, reliable heat, which natural gas provides.

Unfortunately, people living in the Pembroke Township area south of Chicago near the Indiana state line don’t have natural gas and are facing just such a challenge. The area’s median income is about $16,000 a year, it suffers from 30% unemployment and has a 33.9% poverty rate. ...

The plight of Pembroke Township, like others we’ve noted, is a reminder that access to affordable, reliable energy is critically important not only for comfort and convenience, but also for health, particularly among low-income Americans.

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Natural Gas Power Plants in a Transitioning Energy Market

natural gas plant  emission reductions  electricity  infrastructure 

John Siciliano

John D. Siciliano
Posted November 26, 2019

The transition to cleaner natural gas-fueled electricity generation is creating new momentum for building out the nation’s energy infrastructure – specifically, new pipeline capacity needed to accelerate the changeover from coal and other older resources.

Not doing so has proven to be detrimental to consumers and clean energy goals alike.

For example, the state of New York, which is blocking pipeline development, is experiencing higher energy bills and supply problems as it struggles to design an energy system without fossil fuels.

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