Report: Without the pipelines, U.S. in danger of losing up to 33% of power generation by 2030

posted at 7:41 pm on January 25, 2017 by Jazz Shaw

Ed Morrissey already looked at President Trump’s aggressive move to get Keystone XL, Dakota Access and other pipelines back on track earlier this week. The timing for this probably couldn’t be better because despite all the protests from environmentalists and the Keep It In The Ground movement, we are heading toward some hard deadlines for energy generation, after which some very bad things are going to start happening. That’s the conclusion reached in a new study from the Consumer Energy Alliance which examines the long term effects of continuing to reject new pipeline construction projects. The number are not pretty.

A new report released today by Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) found that rejecting pipeline infrastructure would remove almost one-third of U.S. electricity generation capacity by 2030, dangerously raising electric rates nationwide, especially for poverty-stricken households.

The report, titled “Families, Communities and Finances: The Consequences of Denying Critical Pipeline Infrastructure,” found that by 2030, 31 percent of U.S. electricity generation capacity would be removed should the rejection of pipeline infrastructure projects continue at its current pace and if baseload generation options go offline unnecessarily. This would threaten the delivery of vital oil and natural gas feedstock to power generation facilities and sacrifice the reliability of the electric grid. Because natural gas is increasingly used to create electricity, pipeline expansion is more critical than ever. Without more pipelines, natural gas – as well as oil for fuel and power – will not get to market.

These aren’t some dire, doom porn predictions of what the world will look like 100 or 1,000 years from now. We’re talking twelve or thirteen years. And the amounts of energy available on the grid are not just variations that are nibbling around the margins. This represents a loss of 1,450 gigawatts, which equals the power generation of a dozen states. We’d also be missing out on more than 3.17 million barrels of oil per day. Our briefly achieved energy independence would be going down the tubes at that point. And it should go without saying that as the supply declines over that period of time, energy prices will be rising for everyone.

In addition, there’s the simple raw tonnage of economic activity generate by the energy industry. Slashing that much power from the grid would result in a minimum of $15B in private capital expenditures being drained from the general pool. And in case you couldn’t guess, that translates directly to job losses. The only way to combat these effects would be to replace all of the power on the grid with something else not generated from either oil or natural gas. Unless you plan on putting up a lot more coal fired plants (good luck with that) or building and licensing a significant number of new nuclear plants (flatly impossible in a decade) that means renewables. Yes, the Democrats love them and that’s what they’ll tell you in response, but go find me one actual energy industry expert who thinks they can generate an additional 1,500 gigawatts from wind and solar in the next ten years. I’ll wait right here.

Take a moment and browse through the rest of the report. It’s rather stark and depressing, but it’s also very necessary information. This particularly applies to anyone who’s thinking of heading out this week to protest Trump and his plan to finish the pipelines. Be sure to bring a candle with you… not only for the moonlight vigil, but to get used to that as your primary source of lighting.


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