The United States now has the production capability to meet growing domestic energy needs but lacks the corresponding infrastructure to do so. Improved energy infrastructure will benefit families and businesses across the United States through jobs, taxes to support schools, hospitals and road repairs, and paychecks that can be spent in local restaurants, small businesses or tourism.
Natural gas and oil supports over 10.3 million jobs in the U.S. and contributes over $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy.i Many of these jobs are in the areas of exploration, production and transportation of energy, but also include a broad range of infrastructure design and construction jobs.
Infrastructure benefits all of us and its upkeep is important to reduce the costs of energy for both businesses and consumers.
Roads and highways are an integral part of the energy system of the United States and proper maintenance and repair is required to provide for the safe, reliable and cost-effective delivery of energy across the value chain. Of the 4.12 million miles of road in the Unites States, more than two out of every five miles of urban interstates are congested, costing the country around $160 billion in wasted time and fuel in 2014 alone.ii Additionally, 20 percent of existing road infrastructure needs repairs or upgrades.
America has 2.6 million miles of oil and gas pipelines, much of it installed before 1980.iii U.S. natural gas production grew 50 percent between 1990 and 2015 – largely because of the shale revolution. Much of this increased production has come from locations that do not have sufficient pipeline capacity to accommodate it. Maintaining the integrity of our pipeline system, and developing new pipeline capacity as necessary, ensures that Americans can continue to enjoy the benefits of increased domestic energy production in an efficient, safe and affordable way. Each year 99.999 percent of oil and petroleum products are delivered safety by pipeline.iv With new technology, such as the use of drones and sensors, pipelines are becoming even more safe and reliable.
Ports are a vital part of the global economy that support consumer open access to energy resources, promote international competition and create jobs. Additionally, with increased domestic production and the resulting increase in export volumes, improvements are necessary to reduce bottlenecks in storage and loading capacity.v
U.S. inland waterways and rivers carry the equivalent of about 51 million truck trips each year.vi One tanker carries the equivalent tonnage to over five thousand semi tractor – trailers – significantly reducing congestion on our roads and highways. Ports are also integral for the receipt of more than 95 percent (by volume) of the imported goods consumed in the United States.
Rail infrastructure is vital to moving crude oil produced in new markets to otherwise under-served markets, oil refineries on the East and West coast, and between the U.S. and Canada. While North American freight railroads move 99.9 percent of hazardous materials to their destination without incident, our goal is always to have zero incidents. Infrastructure investments in track maintenance and repair, upgrades to tank car fleets, and ensuring appropriate resources to first responders is necessary to achieve this goal.vii