Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that they will be providing $33 million in funding to update 10 natural gas projects under the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Rapid Encapsulation of Pipelines Avoiding Intensive Replacement (REPAIR) program. Teams working in the REPAIR program will develop natural gas transmission pipeline retrofitting technology to enhance the materials and structure of pipelines. This funding will help continue to support the transportation of natural gas and strengthen the U.S. energy network. Speaking of the REPAIR program, ARPA-E Director Lane Genatowski said:
“Natural gas is a crucial energy source for 75 million American households and businesses. REPAIR teams will develop technology that enables gas utilities to update their distribution systems at low cost and continue to reliably service commercial and residential gas delivery needs nationwide.”
Genatowski’s statement echoes the proven, well-known benefits of utilizing natural gas as an energy resource. According to the EIA, burning natural gas produces fewer emissions in air pollutants and CO2 than many alternative sources currently available. Additionally, natural gas is a reliable energy source as U.S. proved reserves have increased nearly every year since 2000, and it is an affordable option for consumers – saving households hundreds of dollars each year. Speaking of the new announcement, Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes said:
“Enhancing America’s energy infrastructure, particularly for our abundant, reliable and affordable natural gas, is one of the highest priorities of this Administration. The United States is now the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas, and natural gas exports have quadrupled since President Trump took office. In order to keep up with this growing industry, it is imperative we modernize and build out infrastructure to safely and efficiently bring this product to market.”
The work of the REPAIR teams will help modernize and innovate our national energy infrastructure system on the path to renewable energy. Pipelines serve as the backbone of American energy – the safest, most efficient, and most environmentally-conscious method of transporting the energy that drives the American economy. We must continue to use natural gas to meet our energy needs as it has proven to be a safe, abundant, and affordable energy option for U.S. consumers. GAIN applauds the DOE for their new funding decision.