Even as the United States edges closer to record-setting natural gas production, the Northeast is being warmed by natural gas coming from Russia. Sufficient infrastructure to transport domestic supplies of oil and natural gas is lacking in the U.S., forcing the country to rely on foreign imports. If domestic energy is thriving, why are pipeline opponents asking hardworking Americans to rely on producers abroad?
These activists are not only encouraging the purchase of sanctioned Russian gas, but they’re also increasing the United States’ dependence on tyrannical regimes for energy.
Without increased pipeline development here in the U.S. we will be more reliant on these types of oppressive countries to meet our gas needs.
The shipment of Russian gas was necessary because of cold snaps in New England that briefly made gas prices in that area the highest in the world. The situation was also exacerbated because regulators in New Hampshire rejected a permit for construction of a pipeline as part of the Northern Pass Transmission project. The move is just the latest in a series of major roadblocks to building substantial and necessary energy infrastructure in New England.
In a recent article in E&E News Chloe Gotsis, a spokeswoman for Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (D), was quoted saying “Continuing to rely on pipelines is too risky for ratepayers and our climate.” But that argument could not be further from the truth.
Pipelines are far safer than other options, such as trains and ships. According to a Washington Post piece “the rate of accidents per billion barrels is significantly higher for rail.” On average rail-transported oil has 10 to 20 times more accidents every year.
Another study by the Fraser Institute shows that that rail is more than 4.5 times more likely to experience an incident. We cannot ignore the facts of pipelines to cater to fringe ideologists who are hurting America’s economic energy growth.
In fact pipelines are actually safer for the environment. University of Alberta released a study that says “pipelines create less greenhouse gas emissions than rail—anywhere from 61 to 77 percent less.”
While pipelines are better for the environment and a safer means to transport needed energy, most pipeline opponents are likely too ideologically-swayed to recognize these facts.
Pipelines would at least guarantee the safe delivery of needed resources, which clearly New England did not have in place.