Energy products are the lifeblood of our economy. The real question that should be asked is; “What are the risks of NOT transporting energy?”
We require energy for our way of life. Take a look around at the electricity we use to light our way, cool our homes and power our transit systems. Observe the many items we depend upon made from oil. From the asphalt in our roads to the plastic in water bottles to the very keyboard which makes this response possible, energy and it’s byproducts are not a luxury, they are a necessity.
We’ve all grown accustomed, and perhaps even taken for granted just how safe our entire transportation has become. Whether by pipeline, rail, truck, vessel or aircraft, Americans rely on a complex transportation system to move the goods, products and even ourselves, from one place to another.
No matter how safe our transportation network has become, we must all understand that while risk can be managed and regulated, we do in fact accept limited risk in our daily lives. Rail accidents in Spain, France and Canada, along with the crash of Asiana 214 at San Francisco are all sobering reminders of this fact.
We cannot eliminate hydrocarbons from our daily lives. To suggest otherwise is simply unrealistic and so we must therefore ensure the discussion is focused on how we can better move the products and items we depend upon on a daily basis in the safest manner possible.
Each day the country safely and securely moves over one million shipments of hazardous materials without incident. Each day pipelines move 31 million barrels of crude and refined products. Our regulatory environment is refined and mature and federal and state authorities have been given the tools they need to help oversee safety.
In the last 10 years rail incidents have decreased substantially through advances in technology and public awareness campaigns. Trucking and aviation accidents have decreased and pipeline spills and incidents have been cut in half.
The simple answer is that we must utilize an “all of the above” approach when it comes to energy transportation. Much needed supplies will find their way to market, so each of us shares a goal of ensuring these products are transported in the safest, most economical and efficient manner possible. With safety as our guide, our national infrastructure system will continue to be envy of the entire world.