How the Changing Energy Markets Will Affect U.S. Transportation
2167 Rayburn House Office Building
Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials
Hearing on “How the Changing Energy Markets Will Affect U.S. Transportation”
(Remarks as Prepared)
Over the last decade, this country has undergone an unprecedented energy renaissance. Due to American technology and construction advances, we are unlocking previously unavailable gas and oil resources. This means we now have a larger domestic source of energy to rely on, while also creating good paying jobs right here in the United States.
Oil production in this country is now approaching levels not seen since the 1970s, and natural gas production is projected to continue its recent growth trends. This helps consumers with lower energy prices, and makes America more secure by relying less on energy from other countries. However, to continue this momentum, our infrastructure needs to keep pace with the advances in the energy sector.
Just about all modes of transportation are ultimately involved in the movement of energy products, but railroads and pipelines are especially critical.
Our freight rail system is the envy of the world, transporting over 40 percent of all intercity freight, more than any other mode. Freight railroads have long been key to America’s energy needs, supplying most of the coal used for domestic electricity production. However, in the last few years, railroads have also been called upon to transport more crude, as pipeline capacity has not kept pace with production.
Like railroads, pipelines have long supplied our Nation’s energy needs. America’s pipeline network is immense: 2.6 million miles of pipe, transporting natural gas, oil, and other hazardous materials. This system takes product from the production field, to refining facilities, and then to the American consumer or for exports. Over the last 25 years, the volume of energy products transported by pipelines has increased by one-third. However, the rapid development of oil and gas plays in this country has outpaced the pipeline network.
We want to hear today from our witnesses about the investments they are making to increase the capacity of our rail and pipeline networks. We also want to understand how government can be supportive of their efforts, and if there are roadblocks, what we can do to remove them.