Start building more pipelines now

Chris Ventura

Executive Director

Consumer Energy Alliance

Well-intentioned, albeit misleading anti-pipeline activists who claim further expansion of our country’s’ bottlenecked energy infrastructure isn’t needed should heed the advice of Lynn Helms, the director of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.

Mr. Helms reportedly told the paper that the state’s existing oil and natural gas pipelines would be full within the next four to seven years.

And because it takes up to five years to permit a large pipeline, the time to start supporting more infrastructure is now.

Studies show moving energy by pipeline is 4.5 times safer than moving the same volume across the same distance by other means, and 99.999 percent of what’s moved via pipeline safely reaches its destination. Thus, without more pipelines, we’ll have to move fuel via less statistically-reliable methods.

Pipelines would also reduce bottlenecks, which would lower energy costs for households, particularly lower-income households who spend a disproportionately large percentage of their take-home pay on energy costs.

Yet pipelines remain taboo for many. We all vividly recall the months-long protesting around the Dakota Access Pipeline, which protestors said was not needed but Helms says will be full by 2025. And opposition elsewhere impacts us here. Just look at the Sandpiper Pipeline, in Minnesota, which would’ve moved Bakken crude but was pulled from consideration in 2016 because of regulatory delays.

This is a bipartisan issue, and a critical one at that.