America’s energy shame

America’s energy shame

One need look no further to ascertain the economic/security value of pipelines for fracked natural gas products than to Pennsylvania’s Mariner East Pipeline.

As The Philadelphia Inquirer reports, citing data from the Delaware River and Bay Maritime Exchange, last year “328 tankers left Delaware River terminals carrying shipments of gas liquids, or nearly one out of four of the 1,346 cargo vessels that set sail from the region (container vessels accounted for the majority).”

Compare that with the number of tankers that left those same terminals in 2011 – a grand total of one. One.

“While other industrial sectors stalled during the pandemic, the number of vessels loaded with propane, butane and ethane at Philadelphia-area wharves jumped 61 percent in the last two years,” The Inquirer reports.

Indeed, we must make sure that such pipelines are safe. But continuing efforts to thwart the build-out of other pipeline infrastructure to limit the amount of fracked or traditional natural gas and oil that is used domestically or set for export is a folly in normal times. It is one of monumental public policy recklessness in these times of our government-fueled economic and security uncertainty.

The crux of the anti-pipeline absurdity, as noted, in part, in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial:

“Here’s a hard political reality behind high energy prices:

“It has [recently] become nearly impossible to build a natural gas pipeline in the U.S. Consider West Virginia’s Mountain Valley pipeline, which has come under a relentless siege by green groups and activists in judicial robes.

“While more than 90 percent complete, the pipeline is in danger of getting canceled. The 304-mile interstate pipeline aims to deliver natural gas from Appalachia’s Marcellus and Utica shale deposits to the mid- and south-Atlantic regions.

“A pipeline shortage has reduced the incentive for drillers to produce more natural gas. Yet states in the mid- and south Atlantic desperately need more gas as their populations grow.”

It’s a sad and sordid tale we hear from every region of the United States. And what, in part, is the manifestation of this government intrusion locally? Try West Penn Power’s increase in its growing natural-gas fueled electric generation costs of as much as 45 percent beginning on June 1.

Yet, again, governments continue to shoot themselves in their collective – or is it “collectivist”? – feet, pining for faux energy “independence” with clearly not-ready-for-prime time “green” energy sources.

Government, acquiescing to the social re-engineers of the greenwashing – and lest we forget, heavily taxpayer-subsidized — left, have created the perfect storm of energy infrastructure dysfunction in this country.

Allowed to continue, dysfunction will turn into failure. Consider just last week how western power gird operators are warning of blackouts this summer as the insane rush to “green” energy will leave vast swaths of the United States without sufficient electric generation capacity.

We see the damaging effects plowing like a tsunami through the fabric of America as the very perpetrators of these unsustainable policies attempt to blame the very energy producers they are attempting to slay.

How in the world can thinking people abide policies that tamp down energy production while at the same time those handcuffed producers are accused of “greed” and “gouging” when prices predictably rise?

In a commentary appearing this past week in newspapers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio, the heads of those states’ respective natural gas and oil associations/coalitions stated the case perfectly.

From the conclusion:

“To ensure we continue to deliver the energy America and its allies rely upon, we need lawmakers to commit to policies that support responsible domestic exploration, production and transmission, enhance permitting efficiencies for critical infrastructure projects and, in some cases, stop demonizing the industry that’s keeping our economy running and making our modern way of life possible.

“Our region has a bright future in realizing generational energy and environmental benefits because of the resources located right beneath our feet.”

We are forced to this simple, but painful, conclusion of our own, given our “leaders” dedicated efforts to sabotage this country’s energy future:

“Putin” didn’t “do this”; our own “leaders” did. And, worse, it continues at a time of such geopolitical turmoil. When America could, should and can be the energy arsenal of democracy, our leaders shrink from their responsibility.

For shame. For shame for placing America on the road to energy serfdom.

Colin McNickle is communications and marketing director at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (cmcnickle@alleghenyinstitute.org).