Report: U.S. Will Lose One-Third of its Electricity Generation Capacity Without More Infrastructure

Denying Pipeline Expansions Will Raise Electric Rates, Cut Jobs and
Jeopardize U.S. Energy Security

released today by Consumer
Energy Alliance
(CEA) found that rejecting pipeline infrastructure
would remove almost one-third of U.S. electricity generation capacity by
2030, dangerously raising electric rates nationwide, especially for
poverty-stricken households.

The report,
titled “Families, Communities and Finances: The Consequences of
Denying Critical Pipeline Infrastructure
,” found that by 2030, 31
percent of U.S. electricity generation capacity would be removed should
the rejection of pipeline infrastructure projects continue at its
current pace and if baseload generation options go offline
unnecessarily. This would threaten the delivery of vital oil and natural
gas feedstock to power generation facilities and sacrifice the
reliability of the electric grid. Because natural gas is increasingly
used to create electricity, pipeline expansion is more critical than
ever. Without more pipelines, natural gas – as well as oil for fuel and
power – will not get to market.

The losses from this rejected infrastructure would equal the power
generation of a dozen states (or 1,450.25 gigawatts). Since one gigawatt
powers roughly 750,000 homes, that’s equal to the power generation needs
of California, Florida, New York, Texas, Ohio and all of New England

This projected shortfall would create more economic hardship via
skyrocketing electric rates for industrial, commercial and residential
users, particularly the 43 million people living on a fixed income or
below the poverty line who lean on daily access to affordable energy
supplies. Denying pipeline expansion will further increase pressure on
households facing energy poverty; approving projects will help relieve
financial constraints by delivering resources more cost-effectively.

Furthermore, these scenarios would negatively impact jobs in
manufacturing, energy, transportation, mining, agriculture and other
industries, the report says. Corresponding impacts would include
competitive disadvantages for U.S. businesses and a minimum loss of
$15.38 billion in private capital expenditures and economic development.

Electricity, transportation and utility costs would also climb, the
report says, as well as increase the cost of virtually every U.S.-made
good and service. Fewer pipelines also decreases their statistically
proven environmental benefits and jeopardizes U.S. national security and
geopolitical influence, according to the assessment.

The report also revealed that the rejection of natural gas and oil
pipeline infrastructure would endanger our nation’s energy security by
abandoning more than 3.17 million barrels of oil per day – nearly the
same amount the U.S. imported daily from OPEC and Russia, in 2015.

“Denying America the critical energy infrastructure it sorely needs, and
prematurely shutting off baseload electricity generation starts an
adverse domino effect that hurts America, its families, its small
businesses and its agriculture, manufacturing and transportation
sectors,” CEA President David Holt said. “It would derail the American
energy revolution and increase our reliance on imports from foreign
nations. Real energy security is not just the presence of abundant
natural resources – it is also the ability to readily access and deliver
those resources at an affordable price.”

The report
also broke down its conclusions by regions:

  • The Northern Plains region stands to experience a 46 percent
    electricity shortfall. It would also lose out on the vast economic
    benefits of large crude pipelines.
  • The Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions would suffer a 44.8
    percent electricity shortfall, missing out on 20 proposed pipeline
    projects that would help curtail shortfalls and alleviate bottlenecks.
  • The Southeast region – and its assortment of high
    energy-consuming states – would see a 29.2 percent electricity
    shortfall, even if wind and solar generation expand by a factor of 37
    percent by 2030, as the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)
  • The Southern Plains region, including Texas, would see
    electricity shortfalls of 23 and 13 percent, respectively, even with
    huge, projected increases in wind and solar energy development from
    federal estimates by EIA.
  • The New England region already experiences shortfalls on
    high-demand days and is projected to lose an additional 30 percent of
    its electric generation capacity by 2020. New England would experience
    an additional 9.5 percent shortfall on top its current energy
    deficits. This shortfall, per the report, would occur even if local
    renewable power capacity increased by 300 percent, as projected by the
    EIA. The result would be additional price increases for a region that
    already has the highest average electric rates in the contiguous U.S.

The report is part
of CEA’s “Pipelines for America” campaign
, which focuses on
educating families, businesses and political leaders about the economic
and environmental benefits of pipeline infrastructure. The report
examined the effects on supply by 2030 from either the failure to permit
and construct new pipelines or the inability to obtain necessary permits
to approve and maintain natural gas and other fossil fuel-fire
electricity generation power, comparing its findings with supply and
demand data from the EIA.

About Consumer Energy Alliance

Energy Alliance
(CEA) is a national consumer advocacy organization
that brings together families, farmers, small businesses, producers and
manufacturers to engage in a meaningful dialogue about America’s energy
future. With more than 400,000 members nationwide, CEA’s mission is to
help ensure stable prices and energy security for households across the
country. CEA believes energy development is something that touches
everyone in our nation, and thus it is necessary for all consumers to
actively engage in the conversation about how we develop and diversify
our energy resources and energy’s importance to the economy. CEA
promotes a thoughtful dialogue to help produce our abundant energy
supply, and balance our energy needs with our nation’s environmental and
conservation goals. Learn more at


Consumer Energy Alliance
Emily Haggstrom, 720-582-0242