Myths vs. Facts

Pipelines and Energy Infrastructure

Debunking Common Myths and Misconceptions

MYTH: Pipelines are risky and dangerous. They will inevitably break or leak, and will cause environmental damage and contaminate local water supplies.

FACT: Safety First is our code of conduct. Pipeline and utility companies spend approximately $7 billion per year to help ensure the safety and reliability of natural gas infrastructure. Pipeline construction uses cutting edge technology that minimizes the risks of lines breaking. Each pipeline is monitored 24/7 by highly trained personnel that can stop the flow if there is an issue, or take action to respond in case of an emergency.

  • Pipelines are built with thick, reinforced steel, concrete and composites. Pipelines are also treated with advanced corrosion-resistant coatings and welds and fasteners are tested ensure that pipelines operate safely.
  • Before pipelines carry any product, they are rigorously tested at high pressure to ensure that there are no leaks. Imaging technology — similar to a medical ultrasound or MRI — is used to scan and inspect pipelines.

MYTH: The construction of new pipelines requires clearcutting swaths of pristine forest and despoiling our natural environment.

FACT: Energy Builders are absolutely committed to ensuring the safety of the community while protecting our local environment. Pipelines undergo a rigorous environmental impact assessment to minimize their environmental footprint and impact, governed by the National Environmental Policy Act.

  • Pipelines have operated for decades with minimal impact on the environment. Trees matter to us, and we know they matter to the customers and communities we serve. Land temporarily disturbed during pipeline construction is restored following pipeline completion.
  • Experts from industry, government and academia have partnered to create a series of standards and recommended practices to minimize environmental disruption as pipelines are built. Before conducting any work that could lead to removing trees, complete environmental reviews, including surveys of birds and other wildlife.

MYTH: Pipelines don’t create any jobs in the communities they cross, and it’s all temporary work anyway.

FACT: ALL construction jobs are temporary – when the job is finished, Energy Builders move on to the next project. But the impacts of energy infrastructure development impacts the entire supply chain.

  • Construction pumps money into local economies along the supply route and nationwide, and creates and sustains thousands of jobs, particularly among small and medium-sized businesses in the energy supply chain
  • Almost 80% of energy supply chain companies are small businesses – valvemakers, steel, concrete, welders, pipefitters, construction, engineering and equipment suppliers in all 50 states. These projects also pay property taxes in perpetuity that will stay in local communities.

MYTH: Stopping energy infrastructure projects, such as pipelines, will keep fossil fuels in the ground, reduce CO2 emissions and speed the growth of renewable energy projects.

FACT: Blocking a pipeline stops one of the most environmentally friendly and efficient ways to transport the clean, reliable fuel that families need to power their homes, businesses and lives. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) projects that oil and natural gas will be the primary sources of U.S. energy for decades to come. Modern energy infrastructure is critical to America’s transition to a clean energy economy, as they provide natural gas alternatives to older and less clean burning coal-fired power plants, and enable more renewable energy to be utilized.

  • Because solar and wind power are intermittent, you can’t simply add them to the grid in large volumes without natural gas.
  • Natural gas makes renewable energy possible. Gas-fired “flex” power plants are built to ramp up and down quickly to accommodate shifting supply from wind and solar.
  • Stopping infrastructure projects could raise heating costs, cause job losses and hurt our economy.
  • Greater use of natural gas for electricity generation has caused America’s CO2 emissions from power plants to decline back to levels not seen since 1991. As a result, America leads the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Energy Supply Chain consists of more than:

$170 billion

The only way to make it happen is to take action!


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