From Keystone XL to the most recent Dakota Access, debates over pipelines seem to have sprung up overnight. The pipes that connect us and deliver opportunity used to unite us, but lately, the political agenda of a relative few has caused a riff. At a time when our country needs to come together more than ever, it’s dangerous that much of the debate ignores the facts.
Manufacturers are tired of being sidelined while political factions fight over projects. It’s easy to forget that the men and women who wire the hi-tech sensors and inspect these double-walled steel pipes are left in limbo when projects get stalled by political fights. So, we’re working to help set the record straight with five facts about America’s pipelines:
- Pipelines mean paychecks.
In our recent study Energizing Manufacturing, IHS estimates that in 2015 expanded natural gas access meant 1.4 million jobs and put an extra $1,337 in the pocket of the average American family. The Dakota Access Pipeline alone is expected to generate 8,000 to 12,000 immediate jobs, giving families a steady source of income and stronger job security.
- No one benefits from American pipelines more than America.
Pipelines pay taxes to state and local communities to support schools, road repairs, hospitals, emergency services and other critical, ongoing needs. This isn’t just great for America’s wallet at home, but also for the competitive advantages it brings to manufacturers. As a result of the low cost of energy prices, production costs decrease in energy-intensive industries like food, metals and paper, and those savings then get passed on, saving Americans more dollars.
- People and places are protected by pipelines.
We must keep working to build the safest and most environmentally responsible ways to connect communities to the energy they need. With the strictest standards and highest safety procedures, pipelines have the lowest carbon footprint of any option according to the Department of Transportation.
- Putting pipelines in the ground puts billions back in the economy.
Construction is a capital-intensive process that requires years of planning, securing customers and suppliers and generating capital. While individual projects range from $1 billion to $4 billion on average, the NAM estimated that construction spending on natural gas pipelines last year alone contributed $34 billion to GDP. In addition, the Progressive Policy Institute’s 2016 Investment Heroes report found that energy distribution spending is also growing. These infrastructure investments raise productivity and wages across the country.
- The entire community is lifted up when we build.
The influx of investment into an area means paychecks that are spent in local restaurants, small business and tourism. For example, an economic report by Econsult Solutions found that Mariner East pipeline projects in Pennsylvania could add $23 million in personal income taxes as well as millions in property taxes and sales taxes, all of which goes back into local communities.
Manufacturers want Americans to take a deeper look with us at the truth about pipelines. America relies on energy infrastructure to safely transport the energy that powers our lives. So we can’t afford to let political fights derail the projects that connect us all.
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