US Chamber of Commerce Pres. Thomas J. Donohue said oil and gas pipelines and electricity transmission systems must be included as he listed US infrastructure improvements as a top priority in 2018 in his annual State of American Business address on Jan. 10. Donohue’s observation came a day after American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard made similar points during his keynote address at API’s State of American Energy event (OGJ Online, Jan. 9, 2018).
Donohue opined that this year can and must be the one when major infrastructure investments are made in the US. “We have the political will, the bipartisan support, and we certainly have the need. Now is the time to act,” he said. Roads and bridges must be rebuilt and modernized for coming technological changes such as driverless vehicles, Donohue said. Broadband needs to be expanded so it is more widely available, seaports and airports need to be revitalized to handle demands of an increasingly global and mobile economy, and water supply systems must be updated so that basic resource remains safe and available, he stated. “And don’t forget we’re also living in the midst of an energy renaissance, yet we don’t have the infrastructure to support it. So we must revamp our power grid and build the pipelines necessary to transport our abundant resources to market,” Donohue said. At a press conference following his address, Donohue noted that pipelines and power transmission systems are built with private investments and don’t require government expenditures, as Gerard also observed on Jan. 9.