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Energy Tomorrow Blog

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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‘Energy Feast and Famine’ – Report Points to Infrastructure Shortcomings

Pipeline  Gas  infrastructure  natural gas  natural gas access 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
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.

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Updated Federal Review is Critical to Robust Energy Infrastructure

pipelines  permitting  permian basin  safe operations  energy  infrastructure 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 29, 2019

The administration is right: Robust U.S. supplies of natural gas and oil offer great economic opportunity for this nation – requiring robust infrastructure to deliver energy to Americans in all parts of the country. …

It’s very important for Americans to understand that more efficient federal and state permitting for infrastructure projects includes continued regulatory oversight and thorough environmental review by government agencies. Cutting “red tape” will help solve the problem of “energy disparity” in America by providing energy to currently under-served regions, without compromising environmental protection or public safety.

Updating the federal review and permitting process is critical for safe and responsible pipeline construction and operation.

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Safe Digging Month: Call 8-1-1 First

811  safety regulations  infrastructure 

Kate Wallace

Kate Lowery
Posted April 15, 2019

Every 6 minutes, an underground utility line is damaged because someone dug without first calling 811 – the number you can call for free, from anywhere in the country, to verify that it’s safe to dig.  

 The goal is to keep everyone safe by ensuring that there are no below-ground utility lines that could be unintentionally damaged.

April is Safe Digging Month, an annual campaign to remind homeowners and contractors to call 811 before starting a home project that involves digging.

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