Pipeline Infrastructure Delays Costing Us $14 Billion in Economic Recovery

Tom Shepstone
Shepstone Management Company, Inc.

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Delays, obstruction or cancellation of pipeline infrastructure projects are erasing opportunities for our economic recovery.

The Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) has put out a nice report illustrating the cost of the pipeline infrastructure war. It’s way past time the industry recognized it is in a war and that it took the offense by taking the radicals to court and putting them on the defensive. A CEA news release summarizing the findings follows:

pipeline infrastructure

Delays, obstruction or cancellation of pipeline infrastructure projects are threatening at least $13.6 billion in economic activity, over 66,000 jobs and more than $280 million a year in state and local tax revenue at a time when America’s financial recovery from COVID-19 requires more investment and tax revenue, a new Consumer Energy Alliance report finds.

The report, How Pipelines Can Spur Immediate Post-COVID Economic Recovery,” for the first time quantifies the potential and actual economic harm that anti-energy interest groups and allied policymakers, regulators and even judges are creating, and contrasts that with the harsh COVID-related economic realities that exist right now in states where energy infrastructure is needed – but is being impeded.

The findings of the report, which examines a representative sample of states, demonstrates how new energy infrastructure construction activity could provide relief for struggling families and small businesses, put thousands back to work at wages far above the national average, and create demand in the manufacturing and industrial sector for steel, parts, services and a host of energy and construction supply chain needs.

Despite this tremendous opportunity, there are still organized forces intent on leveraging the devastation of the pandemic to advance an extreme agenda against the infrastructure that delivers the energy that literally makes our world go around, our lives easier, and our environment better by making cleaner forms of fuel available. CEA’s report details how their efforts to champion lawsuits, procedural delays, and regulatory roadblocks to stop construction projects are hindering economic recovery and destroying – or have destroyed – billions in consumer savings through lower energy bills.

Among the findings:

  • Opposition in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania against infrastructure risks more than $3.5B in economic activity and more than 17,000 mostly union jobs and nearly $52M/Yr in tax revenues. The Northeast Supply Enhancement project alone would have saved residential customers 65% on their utility bills and prevented the annual carbon emissions equivalent of 500,000 cars from going into the atmosphere 
  • Blocking the Line 5 Tunnel Project would destroy $5.4B a year in economic activity in Southeast Michigan and Ohio 
  • Opposition to Line 3 Replacement Project in Minnesota threatens $35M/Yr in new tax revenue, $2 billion in economic activity, $162M in local construction spending and 8,600 jobs 
  • The shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline may add $1 billion/Yr to farmers’ costs as oil demand drives rail car prices up, risk higher gasoline, diesel and jet fuel prices for the upper Midwest
  • Failure to move ahead with the Keystone XL expansion will destroy $3.4 billion in investment, 10,400 jobs and $55 million in local tax revenue/Yr across Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska
  • If Bayou Bridge opponents had succeeded, Louisiana would have lost $17.8 million in sales tax and over $420 million in payroll for 2,500 construction jobs would have evaporated

“With almost $14 billion of ready investment to fuel post-COVID recovery available, the campaign to impede America’s vital energy infrastructure projects is putting the desires and politics of the few against the economic needs of the many – and our nation,” CEA President David Holt said.

“We’d be foolish to push these immediate injections of private capital aside because it will slow our economic recovery at the expense of countless families and businesses who are just trying to get back on their feet again. These projects have also been proven to provide the best environmental protections because they introduce state-of-the-art technologies to reduce emissions and increase safety where none existed before.”

Holt added: “We can put people back to work now if our policymakers can find the courage to say no to politically motivated anti-energy groups, who lack a realistic plan to help get America back on its feet. It’s time to reject those who offer fact-free opposition to our energy needs in a let-them-eat-cake manner that only harms ordinary people and businesses, and erases the chance for immediate environmental gains.” 

To read the full report, click here.

For the Executive Summary, click here.

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