New Hampshire is without oil and natural gas reserves of its own. Nuclear accounted for about 47 percent of the state’s net electricity generation last year, with natural gas supplying about 30 percent.

But since that gas – as well as natural gas for home heating – must come from elsewhere, the state (and the rest of New England for that matter) is engaged in an important conversation over ensuring adequate pipeline capacity to meet home, commercial and industrial needs.

For the last several years, the United States has been the world's top producer of oil and natural gas, surpassing perennial top-oil and natural gas producing nations like Saudi Arabia, Russia, China, and Venezuela.

Despite this, New Englanders paid 53% more for their electricity than the national average, and a big reason is the lack of sufficient energy infrastructure.

By constructing safe, environmentally sound natural gas energy infrastructure, we can bring a clean, flexible fuel that will enable New England to take advantage of ALL its energy resources.

A 2016 survey of registered voters in New England found 80 percent were concerned about the affordability of energy in their region.

Generally, when it’s cold in New England, and natural gas demand from power generators, individual households, businesses and industries peaks, our infrastructure limitations may not keep up with that demand. Hence, higher-than-the-national-average energy costs.

Pipelines and Energy Infrastructure: Myth vs. Fact

The United States has the largest network of energy pipelines in the world, with more than 2.4 million miles of pipe that safely delivers energy to its destination 99.99% of the time. 

As expansive as our nation’s infrastructure is, however, America is in need of investment to keep pace with this nation's growing production of natural gas and oil, as well as the demands from consumers.  This is especially true in New England.  

Investing in our nation’s energy infrastructure will not only allow the oil and natural gas industry to keep pace with energy demand, it will also help keep energy affordable for Americans.

And the investment required to build this infrastructure will have positive impacts throughout the U.S. economy, employing many individuals and contributing significantly to Gross Domestic Product. 

According to a 2017 ICF study:

  • Rapid infrastructure development is likely to continue for a prolonged period of time.  The primary drivers for robust development are still in place – shale and tight resource development is likely to continue in earnest, and markets will grow in response to the relatively low commodity prices that are being fostered by new oil and gas supplies.
  • Total capital expenditures for oil and gas infrastructure development will range from $1.06 to $1.34 trillion from 2017 through 2035 -- or an average annual of $56 to $71 billion.
  • Investment in infrastructure contributes $1.50 to $1.89 trillion to U.S. Gross Domestic Product over the projection period, or $79 to $100 billion annually. This includes investments in Surface and Lease Equipment; Gathering and Processing Facilities; Oil, Gas, and NGL Pipelines; Oil and Gas Storage Facilities; Refineries and Oil Products Pipelines; and Export Terminals.
  • Infrastructure development will employ an average of 828,000 to 1,047,000 individuals annually in the U.S.  Significant jobs are created not only within states where infrastructure development occurs, but across ALL states because of indirect and induced labor impacts. 

Infrastructure investment will also foster delivery of lower cost energy to households and businesses, and help the upstream and downstream portions of the gas and oil business develop more fully over time.  It will especially benefit those areas of the country which do not have access to America’s newfound abundant energy, such as areas in the Northeast which pay inordinately high energy costs due to lack of energy infrastructure.

The outcome of the how much infrastructure gets built is dependent on regulatory approvals of infrastructure projects.  America’s policymakers should not obstruct critical infrastructure investments which foster the nation’s economic growth and energy security.