The US Needs Critical Mining And Electrical Infrastructure To Meet The Country’s Growing Energy Demand

The US Needs Critical Mining And Electrical Infrastructure To Meet The Country’s Growing Energy Demand

November 20, 2019

America needs to prepare for the country’s future energy demand. In order to do so, the US will need to build more electricity generation and transmission infrastructure, which presents the need to open new land access for the minerals and transmission capacity. 

In a recent blog post, Power The Future reported on new efforts by cities and states to ban household use of natural gas. These new building requirements come as local governments work to speed the transition from natural gas and other fossil fuels toward the use of renewables. This only contributes to rapid growing energy demand and puts increasing pressure on the need for new transmission capacity.

In an op-ed in The Washington Times, Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, shared an experience in his state on the process of building a new transmission, the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project:

This project was built specifically to meet the demand for renewable energy from populations further West. However, in order to build these lines, the Bureau of Land Management, along with 14 cooperating agencies, led the effort to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

That permitting process started in 2008 and was finally completed after a six-and-a-half-year effort. In other words, a single transmission line, servicing only renewable energy, needed nearly seven years of environmental review under NEPA.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has made it nearly impossible to build massive new projects in the United States in a timely fashion. To ensure a more reliable electric future for the US, it is pertinent for NEPA to be reformed to be able to secure reliable energy infrastructure, as well as have an abundant supply of critical minerals.

The activists who are pushing for these cleaner energy policies need to allow for reform by the agencies tasked with providing the processes and operations to carry out their green agenda.