Neal Crabtree, a pipeline worker with over twenty-five years of industry experience, appeared on Fox & Friends First Tuesday morning to discuss low fuel inventories and misleading messaging from the Biden Administration. Crabtree, who lost his job working on the Keystone XL pipeline when President Biden canceled the project, offers perspective on the importance of pipeline infrastructure and the potential for unforeseen events to cause disruption to America’s energy supply.
Tropical storms in the Gulf affecting refineries, or blizzards in the Northeast this winter, could deal a blow to the energy sector. The lack of energy infrastructure development only increases the risks. When the Colonial Pipeline was hacked last year, Crabtree believed it would be a wakeup call for many, illustrating how vulnerable our infrastructure is, especially in the Northeast where a large population relies on a few pipelines.
In response to Energy Secretary Granholm’s letter to New England Governors urging them to prioritize gas and distillate inventories, Crabtree says he struggles to understand the calls to stockpile resources when the administration has been dipping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). Already, the SPR is down to its lowest recorded levels since January 1985, threatening the ability to respond to unexpected supply shocks.
What Crabtree finds so frustrating about the whole situation is that we have the resources here at home. He notes the utilization of the Marcellus Shale, one of the largest natural gas reserves in the world, as an encouraging development to help us meet our growing energy demands. Even with its development over the past decade, we are still discussing the lack of heating oil in the Northeast when the Marcellus Shale is the solution.
More contradictory rhetoric is coming from the Midwest, where Governor Whitmer declared a ‘state of energy emergency’ due to a refinery fire in Indiana that supplies oil and gas to Michigan. However, Governor Whitmer has campaigned on shutting down the Line 5 pipeline which provides more energy to the people and businesses of Michigan than the refinery. Crabtree added, “What was her plan if Line 5 was canceled? Was she going to declare a state of emergency the next day?”
Neal Crabtree raises important points regarding the hypocrisy between rhetoric and reality. America needs more domestic energy infrastructure. Our country has enormous potential to reach energy independence, we just have to use the resources we have abundantly available.