Essential Pipeline Infrastructure Benefits All Texans

Thu, November 19, 2020

The 87th Texas legislative session is scheduled to kick off in January, and since this is Texas, we're reasonably confident that energy issues will be a frequent point of discussion. Given that likely reality, we think it's useful for folks to understand some facts about Texas energy infrastructure, particularly the pipelines that already power our economy and the new infrastructure we need to continue growing.

Texas has more than 470,000 miles of pipeline delivering energy to homes and businesses in every corner of the state. While many Texans are now working from home and children continue to complete their studies online, restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic means more time – and energy use - at home. Natural gas, the most affordable and reliable energy source, allows impacted families to heat food on the stove, bathe in hot water, and keep the lights on at home.

Increased natural gas use for electricity generation has led to a surge in natural gas pipeline infrastructure, providing positive benefits to the environment. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the transition to natural gas is responsible for the country’s overall energy-related emissions decline in 2019.

In fact, pipelines are the most energy-efficient method of natural gas transportation. The more natural gas is transported via pipeline, the less natural gas is hauled by heavy-duty trucks or released through controversial flaring practices. Yet despite the environmental benefits, some groups refuse to believe pipelines are part of the solution.

Thanks to an increase in pipeline infrastructure projects, along with advancements in oil and gas technology, many local communities are benefitting more than ever before.

A recent study from Texas Tech University’s Center for Energy Commerce found that the Texas pipeline industry accounted for $48 billion in economic activity for the state in 2019 alone. Through construction and operations, pipelines supported more than 238,000 direct or indirect jobs, a 40 percent increase from the University’s 2013 findings. In addition, the study found that the Texas pipeline industry provided approximately $2.7 billion in tax revenue to state and local governments at an increase of 68 percent since 2013.

From state and local economic benefits to positive environmental impacts, Texas pipelines provide positive benefits to virtually every Texan, whether they know it or not.