Pipelines are the way to go — economically and environmentally

pipelinesThanks to America’s ongoing energy revolution, oil isn’t the only source of energy that’s selling at bottom-of-the-barrel prices.

Natural gas is too – and it’s saving consumers some big bucks.

A recent study by IHS Economic, commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers, says that record-sized increases in U.S. shale gas production and its accompanying lower natural gas prices in 2015 contributed $156 billion to real disposable income — which means the average American family had an extra $1,337 in disposable income.

This study comes on the heels of another analysis, from the Energy Information Administration, which said that fracking improved the average cost of living for most Americans by nearly $750 per year since 2008.

These are the fruits of the U.S. energy revolution. Increased production has led to reduced fuel costs and lower utility bills, which, of course, lead to big savings — for everyone, especially low-income families who spend a larger percentage of their disposable income on electricity, heating costs and transportation fuels than those in other income brackets.

“Going forward, lower natural gas prices will result in benefits to consumer purchasing power and confidence, higher profits among businesses and improvements in cost-competitiveness for domestic manufacturers relative to their international competitors,” the report says.

There’s really no better way to illustrate how Americans benefit from producing more energy here at home than this.

But there’s a catch.

With manufacturing and power generation serving as key drivers, total natural gas demand is poised to increase 40 percent over the next decade. U.S. supply, meanwhile, is expected to swell about 48 percent over the next decade to meet this new demand.

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    Pipelines are indeed on average a much more efficient and definitely more environmentally safe way to transport all fluids such as; human waste, city water runoff, and most importantly fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas. The obvious reasons are that pipeline installation and problem assessment during flowing / usage can be very accurately monitored. If a problem arises it can be quickly located and mitigated. Transporting fluids by other means such as large ocean or truck tankers is far riskier aopproach. As proof I offer an example I was indirectly involved with…the Alyeska Pipeline / Valdez Port. The company I worked for, ARCO Oil and Gas, strongly objected to transporting Alaska oil by ship. They contended it was far too risky, especially considering the bay around the Valdez Port was narrow and rocky. ARCO was shouted down by environmentalists who did not want any kind of pipeline, especially if it went across vast regions of the Rockies. The environmentalists won. The length of the pipeline was shortened and an oil port was built to transport massive amounts of oil in the ocean. Big mistake! So what happened…very few leaks occurred in the pipeline, all leaks were / have been very small and manageable, Caribou herds have thrived and grown near the pipeline. However a huge tanker went down in the dangerous Valdez Port area. Because this involved a huge tanker full of oil and was in an unconstrained environment (the pacific ocean), it was a huge disaster…In an odd twist , who got the blame…ARCO, go figure.

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