There is no mistaking that the United States is currently in the throes of an energy revolution. With increased production of renewable energy and clean energy sources such as natural gas, the U.S. is slated to be a major producer of energy sources for years to come. Whether it is working on the pipelines carrying clean natural gas to market, the energy grid that delivers electricity to our homes, the nuclear facilities that generate our electricity, or the work done to generate energy efficiency savings, NABTU members are heavily invested in working towards securing our energy future.
However, there is much that can be done to strengthen the infrastructure that is necessary to ensure our energy security. And that infrastructure is vast. Our transmission, storage, and distribution (TS&D) infrastructure includes 2.6 million miles of interstate and intrastate pipelines, over 400 natural gas storage facilities, and more than 640,000 miles of high-voltage transmission linesi, and the cost associated with maintaining and strengthening our TS&D network is significant. For instance, in 2008 the Edison Foundation Institute for Electric Innovation estimated that the United States would need to invest roughly $880 billion by 2030 for transmission and distribution infrastructureii, and the Department of Energy’s Quadrennial Energy Review estimated the cost of replacing the cast iron and bare steel pipes in our gas distribution network would cost $270 billioniii. While seemingly daunting, there are steps that we can take to move forward with building the energy infrastructure of the future.