Statement on report by the National Petroleum Council

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 12, 2019)—The National Petroleum Council (NPC) today announced the final report of its study on the changing dynamics of the U.S. oil and natural gas transportation infrastructure. The study was requested by Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on September 21, 2017 to examine any constraints to growing domestic oil and gas production caused by infrastructure limitations. He asked that the NPC evaluate technology and policy options for improving infrastructure siting and related permitting processes, which in turn could improve safety, environmental performance, and resilience of the system.

The study shows that oil and natural gas continue to be the largest energy sources through 2040, even in energy forecasts designed to meet climate change targets. Since the United States is now the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas, there is an opportunity to reduce the political and economic risks of energy imports while helping to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. This continuing demand for energy resources and increased production puts increasing pressure on existing energy transportation infrastructure. The study concludes that new pipelines and export infrastructure need to be developed, but overlapping and complex regulatory and permitting requirements can complicate and delay this development.

Importantly, the study emphasizes that successful infrastructure projects depend on early, effective and continuous stakeholder engagement collaboration. This also includes directly addressing the climate change impacts of energy infrastructure. 

“The Dynamic Delivery report is a critical step toward protecting our national and economic security while also recommending vigorous stakeholder engagement and climate protection by energy developers,” said Marilu Hastings, vice president of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation.

“The Mitchell Foundation is pleased to see that the NPC is recommending to the Department of Energy that the U.S. Congress should enact a comprehensive national policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that is economy-wide, applicable to all sources of emissions, market-based, transparent, predictable, technology-agnostic, and internationally competitive.

“Several knowledgeable experts are working on just such a policy design to bring this DOE-mandated climate policy forward for bipartisan adoption by Congress. Only with such a comprehensive climate policy can the U.S. truly be liberated economically and environmentally from the burden of greenhouse gas emissions from energy development and use.

“The Mitchell Foundation has conducted and supported rigorous, cross-sectoral studies and forums on how the energy industry can and must improve its proactive and authentic stakeholder engagement activities prior to considering, planning, designing and permitting new projects. Thus, the foundation applauds the NPC for recognizing that the energy industry itself is responsible for reducing delays in infrastructure development. Only with early, effective and continuous stakeholder engagement and collaboration can energy projects proceed efficiently and with minimal stakeholder-driven delays.

“Of utmost importance is for industry to improve its diminishing respect for the long history and heritage of rural private property rights as the basis on which the United States was formed. As the balance of power between energy developers and property owners has shifted recently in favor of energy projects, industry must redouble its efforts to engage effectively with landowners and minimize the onerous burden of eminent domain on those stakeholders. Energy infrastructure developers can help ensure their project success by adopting the best practices included in the Dynamic Delivery report.” 



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