Infrastructure Lost: Why America Cannot Afford to Keep It In the Ground
December 18, 2018
In recent years, anti-energy groups have rallied around a singular theme: “Keep it in the Ground.” Environmental activists argue that many of our most reliable energy sources – coal, natural gas, and oil – should not be accessed at all, and instead be left deep underground. In support of this agenda, they are actively fighting against as many energy infrastructure and development projects as they can – pipelines and transportation networks, power plants and transmission lines, export facilities, and much more.
This campaign has significant costs: Power plants that are cancelled mean fewer job opportunities for blue collar workers and potential challenges for electric reliability. Pipelines that aren’t built mean higher energy prices, as residents in the Northeast have discovered during frigid winters. Delaying or altogether blocking energy infrastructure means foregone tax revenue that would pay for public services, schools, emergency response, and roads.
While these efforts have been reported on over the years, their aggregate economic impact has never been calculated, until now.