The High Plains Journal recently published a letter by Kansas resident Cole Morehead on the critical dynamic between the agriculture and energy industries. The letter emphasizes that these two industries heavily rely on one another – farms and ranches need oil and natural gas to operate efficiently, while energy developers rely on cooperation from rural landowners for pipeline routing and construction. The author contends these industries should work together for mutual benefit, writing:
In rural America, prosperity is based on crop and livestock production, which relies on products derived from pipeline-shipped oil and gas. What’s good for the farmer or rancher should be good for the pipeline operator, and vice versa. Instead of standing on opposite sides of the fence screaming at the other side, why don’t we all jump on the fence and have a conversation about aligning our interests?
The letter also assures readers that pipelines are the safest, cleanest means of transportation, citing data that finds a “barrel of oil shipped by pipeline safely reaches its destination 99.999 percent of the time.” The author writes:
Yet, the public’s perception of pipelines is poor, driven by misconceptions, negative press and politics. It isn’t the years of accident-free operations on thousands of miles of pipelines across the country that make headlines, but the one day when something goes wrong on one length of pipe.
From start to finish, the pipeline process is carefully planned and implemented. Pipeline operators “go above and beyond” to ensure systems are safe, including 24/7 monitoring and regular maintenance. In addition, workers are trained in land conservation, prioritize thorough, site restoration, and follow all environmental regulations.
GAIN looks forward to further investment and promotion of energy infrastructure across the country, and continuing to foster the important relationship between the energy and agriculture industries. As Morehead concludes:
Energy, farming and ranching are essential to the lives of every U.S. citizen, and to people around the world who count on our energy and agricultural exports. Let’s come together to strengthen the partnership between pipelines and rural landowners and maintain America’s position as the global leader in agriculture as well as oil and gas.