A fixed cost for many Americans on an annual basis are energy costs – costs to heat and cool your home, keep the lights on, and fill up your car with gas to get to work. So why is it that so many are opposed to making energy more affordable by increasing infrastructure that transports energy resources to market in an efficient, affordable, and safe way?
Pennsylvania is fortunate to have access to an abundance of energy resources with the Marcellus and Utica Shale Formations, yet it has been widely reported that Pennsylvania does not yet have adequate pipeline capacity to get these resources to market. This is the topic of a recent piece by David Holt, president of the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA).
According to Holt, the country is “amid an energy revolution that’s triggering profound change in our ability to meet our daily needs with home-grown energy; however “the root cause” for paying more for energy is a “growing shortage” of pipeline infrastructure. He goes on to say that, “this is important to various regions of the country that lack the pipeline infrastructure needed to safely and efficiently move the resources families and households need to meet basic home-heating and electricity needs on high-demand days without any resulting bottlenecks or grid reliability issues. Instead, the families who are already struggling to pay for food, clothing and shelter will continue to struggle as the cost of electricity increases with no recourse or alternatives.”
Because of this, Pennsylvanian’s, “pay an average, $233 more for electricity over a year than the national average.”
Mariner East 2, currently under construction in Pennsylvania, is being built to help alleviate this problem. Propane and ethane, which will both be shipped through the Mariner East system from western Pennsylvania, will be used to provide home heat and electricity for Pennsylvania households. CPV Fairview in Cambria County recently announced a direct agreement to plug into the Mariner East line for ethane to help fuel electric generation in order “to meet the needs of 1 million Pennsylvania homes.”
These projects provide increased economic benefit to the state and local communities. Mariner East will provide $4.2 billion in economic benefit for Pennsylvania, including over 30,000 jobs during construction while the CPV Fairview plant is a $900 million investment. In addition, opposition to these projects assuredly increase energy prices – especially for those who can’t afford to pay more.