... High Hopes for 2021 as Strange Year Comes to a Close - North American Energy Pipelines  

High Hopes for 2021 as Strange Year Comes to a Close

This is our final issue of what has been an odd year, to say the least. The global COVID-19 pandemic profoundly altered our lives in every conceivable way — and a few inconceivable ways.

Many of us who work in an office were suddenly transitioned to working remotely. Those who work in the field had to adjust to additional safety protocols, such as wearing masks and gloves and adhering to social distancing.

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We all stopped shaking hands. Meetings turned into video conference calls. Industry events, including our recently concluded 2020 Pipeline Leadership Conference, were presented online.

Despite these challenges, the oil and gas pipeline industry has persevered. If there was one takeaway from our speakers at the 2020 Pipeline Leadership Conference, it’s that pipelines remain an integral piece of the energy supply puzzle. U.S. Political Landscape panel discussion speakers Toby Mack of the Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA), Matt Keelan of
The Keelan Group (TKG) and Martin Edwards of Ice Miller Strategies projected a cautiously optimistic outlook for the industry under President-Elect Joe Biden.

Echoing that sentiment was a Nov. 23 article published by NPR, titled “Why the Oil Industry Doesn’t Fear Biden,” which chronicled how industry experts viewed the incoming administration as “open to compromise” and likely to be constrained by a Republican-led Senate.

While Biden has been clear about placing limits on fossil fuel production, those limits are unlikely to impact the majority of U.S. oil and gas production.

Again, I return to what the Pipeline Leadership Conference speakers had to say. Participants of The Role of Pipelines to Achieve a Low-Carbon Future panel discussion — Sue Forrester of the American Gas Association (AGA), Chris McConnell of the University of Houston and Dr. Sergio Kapusta of Rice University — argued that achieving a low-carbon future will require all forms of energy and energy infrastructure.

With a COVID-19 vaccine seemingly around the corner, hope springs eternal that we’ll have the pandemic under control in the near future. That will be good news for everyone, the pipeline industry included, as working conditions can return to normal, allowing production and productivity to rise once again.

I wish you health and prosperity. Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. We’ll see you again in the New Year.

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