With increased development of the Marcellus and Utica Shale in western Pennsylvania, debate about the need for pipeline infrastructure has been ongoing. On one side are anti-development activists who focus on fringe ideological views without a basic understanding of the ongoing need for increased domestic energy production. The Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance believes that the Marcellus and Utica Shale development is a tremendous opportunity for Pennsylvania as well as domestic energy consumers, but these benefits can only come available through expanded pipeline infrastructure. In other words, unless we can safely transport the resources to consumers, Pennsylvania cannot receive the full benefit.
Recent controversy about the import of Russian natural gas in New England is just the latest proof that more pipeline infrastructure is needed. According to Bloomberg, the Russian gas was being imported because “New England is paying a hefty premium for supplies as pipeline capacity limits flows of cheap shale gas from other parts of the country in the peak demand season.”
Because the Northeast lacks the necessary pipeline capacity to meet regional demand, they have been left with no choice but to purchase much-needed energy from the Russians – who are currently under intense scrutiny for meddling in the 2016 election. The bottom line is that by advocating against necessary pipeline infrastructure, pipeline opponents are only advocating on behalf of Russian economic interests.
The U.S. is on a path to become the world’s largest producer of natural gas. Without the necessary pipeline infrastructure that can deliver these resources to consumers safely, we will never be self-reliant for the energy we need.
Increased pipeline infrastructure development is the answer. Pipelines are the safest, most efficient way to transport energy from point A to point B and increased development is necessary to ensure the safe transport of these products and become less reliant on foreign sources. Pipeline opponents will continue digging for any argument they can find to halt these projects, but in the end, infrastructure opponents are only advocating for increased reliance on Russia to meet America’s energy demand.