Organization launches campaign supporting energy infrastructure

By Patrick C. Miller | August 17, 2016

Starting a conversation with the American public about the need to construct energy infrastructure is absolutely critical, according David Holt, president of the Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA).

“The politics of ‘no’ has become so pervasive in our country right now that it’s fundamentally changing some of the political debates,” he said. “What we’re seeing across the country by a very small but vocal minority—that opposes all energy production, that opposes innovation and that opposes infrastructure development—is a failure to have an honest discussion with the American people.”

Holt said ongoing protests and attempts to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline that will carry up to 570,000 barrels per day of Bakken crude from western North Dakota to a terminal in Patoka, Illinois, are a reflection of efforts to stop critical energy infrastructure projects.

The Houston-based organization which represents 400,000 members—including more than 300 business—recently announced a national “Pipelines for America” campaign that focuses on educating homeowners, small businesses and elected officials about the importance of meeting U.S. energy needs through energy infrastructure. CEA will also be holding events and grassroots activities in addition to running advertising across several states.

Michael Brune of the Sierra Club was quoted in a recent Mother Jones article about the Dakota Access Pipeline as saying, "It's not a question if a pipeline will malfunction, but rather a question of when."

“That quote is very much one of the reason we’re doing this campaign,” Holt said. “This false choice that Mr. Brune and others continue to send out says you can only protect the environment if you stop producing energy. It’s just illogical. It doesn’t make sense, and they offer no solutions to meeting our energy needs.”

If those opposing the construction of energy infrastructure got their way, Holt said the result would be increased costs, blackouts, brownouts, businesses going out of business and suffering households.

“Those who keep saying that we cannot build more pipelines are essentially telling the poorest of the poor and folks on fixed incomes and small businesses that your electricity prices and your gasoline prices are going to go up because we’re not going to allow simple infrastructure projects to be built in this country anymore,” he explained. “To me, that’s a wrong-headed argument and it’s illogical.”

The good news, according to Holt, is that national polls show the American public overwhelmingly supports energy and infrastructure projects. Those against the development aren’t representative of the public’s attitude, he contends.

“That’s why CEA’s campaign seeks to alert the American public of the urgent need for pipelines and the continued importance of both safeguarding our environment and developing our energy resources responsibly,” Holt said. “It is irrefutable that we can have both sensible energy development and a safe environment.”


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