Consumer Energy Alliance, a national consumer advocacy organization that represents consumers, manufacturers, agriculture, energy, renewables and other industries, launched a push for pipelines in the Keystone State and elsewhere in the United States.
The 400,000-member organization launched a campaign this week called “Pipelines for America,” which aims to educate consumers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region about the increasing importance of U.S. energy infrastructure and how more is needed to safeguard the environment and keep energy costs low.
According to a news release from CEA, the initiative is being launched at a time when the U.S. Energy Information Administration said there is insufficient takeaway capacity in the Appalachian and Marcellus regions to meet basic consumer, electric, home-heating and manufacturing demand, even as production in the Marcellus and Utica formations have grown to 12 billion cubic feet per day since 2011. The output accounts for 89 percent of the nation’s total growth in natural gas production.
CEA notes that, according to federal data, New York experienced the nation’s largest surge in the number of households using natural gas as a heating fuel source over the last decade. Delaware generated 85 percent of its electricity from natural gas in 2015. Meanwhile, New Jersey averaged the 10th-highest electricity prices in the nation in 2015 and New York had the seventh-highest, according to the EIA.
“These statistics show that expanding America’s much-needed pipeline development is the best way to ensure that consumers’ energy prices remain steady, particularly in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region,” said CEA Mid-Atlantic Executive Director Mike Butler, who also is a member of Pennsylvania’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force.
The Mariner 2 East Pipeline project planned by Sunoco Logistics was the subject of lawsuits by some landowners in the path of the project, which would stretch from Ohio, West Virginia and across Pennsylvania to destinations in Pennsylvania, including the Marcus Hook industrial complex along the Delaware River.
CEA’s campaign has the support of labor unions, including the International Union of Operating Engineers and Laborers International Union of North America as well as the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce.
Noting the abundant output of natural gas products coming from Pennsylvania’s energy renaissance, Trish McFarland, President of Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, said the state’s pipeline infrastructure has lagged behind.
“What we need is a modern infrastructure system that helps bring these products to market. Pipelines have the potential to help fuel an economic and manufacturing revival in Pennsylvania.”
CEA said its regional campaign includes the submission of a petition from CEA, the Business Council of New York State and New York State Laborers’ with more than 10,000 signatures from state consumers urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo to stop blocking pipeline expansion and is part of a nationwide effort to engage consumers on how to better support affordable energy through increased pipeline development.
For more information, visit www.pipeline.consumerenergyalliance.org.