Why Environmentalists Should Embrace Pipelines Rather Than Fight Them

Tyler Corder, of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Liberty Leadership Council in Houston, recently penned an op-ed in Bloomberg Law arguing that environmentalists must come to see the practicality of pipelines and should support their development. Traditional energy sources like natural gas and oil are key to supporting our nation’s current and future energy needs – and pipelines are the safest, most efficient, and most environmentally-conscious means of transporting them. Delaying or blocking critical pipeline projects – the latest of which include Atlantic Coast, Keystone XL, and Dakota Access –could ultimately negatively impact Americans.

As Corder highlights, “activist courts, environmental group-driven lawsuits, and excessive, ever changing regulations” are often the culprits behind these delays and cancellations. U.S. policymakers and regulators must create an environment that is conducive to energy infrastructure investment – and limits these counterintuitive efforts to stymy American energy.

No grid is currently able to run on renewable energy 24/7. Even Germany, the largest market for solar power in the world, relies on fossil fuels to provide power to the grid when solar and wind are not available. There will continue to be a need for natural gas for quite some time, as Corder explains:

Natural gas is key to the energy transition and pipelines are the most effective and safest means of supplying our cities and towns with the power we need to survive transition to cleaner energy.

Yet, environmentalists still attempt to stop essential projects that benefit our country. For example, following the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast pipeline and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to delay the Keystone XL pipeline project, anti-pipeline activists touted these as successes but failed to consider the repercussions and the critical role pipelines play in our country – not to mention the thousands of jobs, millions in tax revenue, and economic opportunities that were lost as a result of such decisions.

Corder summarizes the need for pipelines well saying:

“The belief that reducing pipeline capacity will result in a decrease in the use of crude oil is a fallacy. Producers will still produce the commodity, they will just be forced to transport through other, less safe and environmentally harmful alternatives such as transporting fuels by truck.

“We must continue to seek balance between minimizing our carbon/environmental footprint and leading productive lives. It is time environmental groups and their sympathizers cooperate with energy companies rather than seek to abolish them.”

Similar Posts