Dismantling Natural Gas Pipeline Infrastructure Jeopardizes Heat for Americans

Last year, winter storms Elliott and Uri clearly demonstrated the vulnerabilities in our national power grid and the dire need for infrastructure improvements. The storms caused millions of Americans to lose power over the holidays, adding unnecessary stress to a busy time of year. The storms also cost taxpayers billions of dollars. Despite this, the government has failed to address the grid’s shortcomings and provide concrete solutions to avoid future crises. As weather patterns get more extreme, the U.S. needs to invest in our energy infrastructure, specifically increasing and fortifying natural gas pipelines.

The U.S. is blessed with geological features that allow us to harness an abundance of natural resources, however, we fail take advantage of them wholly due to a lack of infrastructure and harmful policies. Natural gas contributes the most to our power grid, accounting for over 40 percent of electricity generation. It’s imperative that we have a strong system in place to successfully use and deliver energy throughout the country. Since natural gas is so vital to the grid, the fact that it doesn’t have sufficient support should be extremely concerning to Americans and there should be larger calls for common-sense solutions without increasing energy prices.

We’ve seen the effects of our weak pipeline systems through the loss of power during last year’s winter storms. Coincidentally the area where winter storm Elliot occurred, the area is also home to the Marcellus and Utica Shales, a basin filled with copious amounts of natural resources, namely natural gas. Despite the proximity between the shales and the affected area, our energy infrastructure failed to heat homes, showing the pitfalls with our current systems and the need for improvements.

America is the most technologically advanced country in the world, with complex and efficient energy infrastructure. However, more must be done to support these vital projects. Delay-to-die litigation, cumbersome permitting processes and an energy-hostile administration have curtailed the buildout of more pipelines. Americans should not have to worry about heating their homes, or their energy bills, but unless the grid’s shortcomings are addressed, winter storms could continue to wreak havoc.

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