In the Past, Present and Future, Pipelines Address Many of Our Nation’s Greatest Needs

In the Past, Present and Future, Pipelines Address Many of Our Nation’s Greatest Needs

July 20, 2021

Opposition to oil and gas pipelines has become a knee-jerk stance for radical environmentalists and their allies in the Biden administration. Never mind that pipelines are a proven, safe and effective way to get energy into the marketplace. A recent article in the New Haven Register looked at the history of pipelines in the United States.

Interestingly, America’s pipeline network began during World War II as a response to national security concerns. German submarines were threatening U.S. oil tankers, and pipelines were developed as a much safer alternative. The article also includes some interesting facts about American pipelines, including:

In 2020 some 84,000 miles (135,000 kilometers) of long-distance pipelines carried crude oil, while another 64,000 miles (103,000 kilometers) of pipe moved refined products, including gasoline and jet fuel…

Petroleum currently supplies about one-third of U.S. energy consumption. Much of it is delivered by pipeline. It would take at least 750 tanker trucks per day, loading up and moving out every two minutes, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to carry as much oil as even a modest pipeline.

While America’s circumstances have changed greatly in the eighty years since World War II, it remains a fact that pipelines are the safest, most efficient way to deliver oil and gas. Ironically, the environmentalists frequently cite safety as a concern about pipelines, ignoring the fact that fewer pipelines means more tankers on America’s highways and railroads. Not only is this transport unsafe, it emits far more emissions than pipelines would.  This was one of the excuses used by the Biden administration in cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline.

As we have previously cited, this cancellation meant not only turning our nation’s back on safety and efficiency, it meant turning our back on meaningful economic impacts.

  • Over 10,000 American union jobs were created during construction.
  • 2,000 currently working on the pipeline will be laid off.
  • A $10 million Green Jobs Training Fund for union workers will be no more.
  • An indigenous partnership that was generating more than $1 billion in equity ownership opportunities with input into construction and operations is now gone.
  • Over $500 million committed for Indigenous suppliers and employment opportunities for tribal communities is now gone.
  • Over $100 million of annual property taxes for rural American communities is now gone.

Pipelines are a common-sense solution that addresses many of our nation’s greatest needs, but unfortunately, common sense is in short supply when it comes to environmental activists.