Biden infrastructure plan sidelines pipelines: oil, gas industry
President Biden’s pledge to include spending on energy transition in a $2.3 trillion infrastructure plan was welcomed by the US oil and gas industry, though its representatives said March 31 it missed the mark on pipelines.
“What I’m proposing is a one-time capital investment of roughly $2 trillion in America’s future, spread largely over eight years,” the president said from Pittsburgh.
Biden said the heart of his plan would be the modernisation of the nation’s transportation infrastructure, such as roads, bridges and airports. It will be, he added, “transformational” in the effort to tackle climate change, which would not only clean up the environment, but help create jobs.
Dubbed the American Jobs Plan by the president, Biden said it would put “hundreds of thousands of people,” to work in building a clean grid and capping abandoned oil and gas wells.
“We also welcome the administration’s efforts to address the risks of climate change by incentivising innovation for hydrogen and CCUS as part of this infrastructure package,” Frank Macchiarola, the senior vice president for economic and regulatory affairs at the American Petroleum Institute, said. “At the same time, this proposal misses an opportunity to take an across-the-board approach to addressing all our infrastructure needs – including on modern pipelines.”
The oil and gas sector during the Trump administration sought relief from tariffs imposed on steel, arguing it was essential for a modern infrastructure.
Ed Longanecker, the president of the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, said Biden’s investment plan was a step in the right direction, but like the API, said he felt pipelines were sidelined.
“Pipelines are the most reliable and efficient means to transport the oil and natural gas that powers families across America,” he said.
Biden’s proposal still requires consent from the US Congress, which holds the power of the purse.