RealClearEnergy published an Op-Ed by Brigham McCown, GAIN strategic advisor and former head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. His piece notes the questionable choices made by the Biden Administration as it relates to domestic energy productions, including the recent decision to cancel offshore lease sales in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. The Op-Ed also highlights the impressive economic and safety benefits of transporting oil and natural gas via pipelines compared to other forms of transportation.
After criticizing President Biden’s unwise energy agenda, McCown notes the uncertainty surrounding the Dakota Access Pipeline, a crucial pipeline that connects oil producers in North Dakota with terminals over 1,000 miles away. According to McCown’s piece, “federal regulators are also in the process of deciding the status of a key pipeline that operates in the Midwest. The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is an indispensable piece of America’s energy infrastructure, transporting over half a million barrels of oil each day from North Dakota to Midwest markets. Yet this critical piece of energy infrastructure remains under assault, with far-left groups continuing to challenge it in courts. If opponents have their way, oil could stop flowing altogether.”
The stoppage of oil from North Dakota via safe and efficient pipelines could end up pushing energy prices even higher due to capacity constraints. With energy prices continuing to surge, the federal government must do everything in its power to not put even more upward pressure on prices.
In addition to the importance of pipelines to the economy, he also notes their important safety features. As former head of PHMSA, he developed and enforced regulations of American pipelines, so he has invaluable knowledge of the industry. As he writes in his piece, “I can personally attest to the importance of pipeline infrastructure to the United States. Pipelines are the safest and most efficient method of transportation for oil and natural gas. A 2019 report compiled by PHSMA to Congress found that pipelines have a significantly lower incident rate when compared to other forms of transportation.”
Getting the United States’ energy crisis under control is not easy, but it is crucial we keep DAPL in operation. McCown argues as gas prices reach new daily record highs, it’s of the utmost importance that the Policymakers come together to prioritize investment in our critical energy infrastructure. Reliable, affordable domestic energy is key to driving economic growth and protecting the wallets of American families.