Pipelines are essential to transporting petroleum and natural gas products from its source to multiple end-user destinations.  Pipelines are the arteries of our nation’s energy health, as critical to America as the arteries that move blood through our bodies are to sustaining our life.

All told, the energy transportation network of the United States consists of more than 2.5 million miles of pipeline operated by approximately 3,000 large and small companies that  provide a variety of services.

And according to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration: "The nation's pipelines are a transportation system. Pipelines enable the safe movement of extraordinary quantities of energy products to industry and consumers, literally fueling our economy and way of life. The arteries of the Nation's energy infrastructure, as well as one of the safest and least costly ways to transport energy products, our oil and gas pipelines provide the resources needed for national defense, heat and cool our homes, generate power for business and fuel an unparalleled transportation system."

Simply put: Pipelines are essential to our existence and irreplaceable, as the volumes of energy products they move are well beyond the capacity of other forms of transportation. Pipelines operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For example, it would take a constant line of tanker trucks, about 750 per day, loading up and moving out every two minutes, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, to move the volume of even a modest pipeline — and just imagine the traffic congestion that would create.

With the development of the Utica Shale formation, the number of potential pipelines in Ohio are on the rise.  Pipeline construction includes multiple factors to consider, including landowner rights, safety, and eminent domain.  There are a number of state and federal regulations that govern the construction and maintenance of pipelines.  The siting of pipelines in the Buckeye State is governed by the Ohio Power Siting Board (OPSB), with production lines being under the jurisdiction of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).  Once pipelines have been constructed, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) regulates the safety of Ohio’s pipelines

Safety is of the utmost concern.  The state of Ohio has adopted the federal regulations for pipelines, and PUCO enforces the regulations through a cooperative agreement with the federal government.  The pipeline safety regulations require operators to lower the maximum allowable operating pressure of the pipeline, increase the frequency of leak surveys and odorize gas so leaks can be readily detected.

Pipelines have been a part of the American landscape for more than 100 years.  And through high standards, smart regulations, and constant vigilance, we can be sure that the arteries of America’s energy lifeblood keep flowing safely for the next 100 years and beyond.

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