There’s great news for America’s manufacturing sector: the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency (EIA) has released a new report showing proposed pipeline projects in the Midwest would significantly increase our access to safe, domestic energy.
Increased access to reliable sources of our own energy is essential for manufacturers, to power operations and remain competitive in an increasingly global marketplace. The EIA report, which gathered data on infrastructure proposed in Ohio, found the number of state-of-the-art pipelines in various stages of the approval process would increase transport capacity from 10 billion to 17 billion cubic feet per day.
But pipeline projects are not simple construction endeavors; they are high-tech engineering undertakings. Building a new pipeline takes years of review and approval, negotiations with landowners and approvals at all levels of government.
Unfortunately, during these long and complicated approvals, dozens of shovel-ready projects sit in waiting. From wages for construction activity to lower electricity costs for consumers and greater manufacturing in America, the benefits of natural gas access are felt throughout the community. In fact, the National Association of Manufacturers’ recent Energizing Manufacturing study conducted by IHS Global estimates that in 2015 alone, expanded natural gas access meant 1.9 million new jobs and an extra $1,337 in the pockets of the average American family.
Pipelines are the safest possible means of transporting natural gas resources. Americans deserve access to infrastructure that can move energy to manufacturers and other industries that are dependent on it, including low-carbon power plants, agriculture and more. Pipeline construction largely relies on private investment, so the American taxpayer saves money.
Prioritizing public participation and transparency on the front end means we can start building these critical pipeline infrastructure projects in a timely manner. And when we do, regions like western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio win. In fact, investments are already bearing fruits through added tax revenue and patronage at local hotels, restaurants, grocery stories and other tourist attractions. Domestic energy is a benefit we can’t afford to reject.