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Pipelines Deliver Travel Benefits
Every summer, American families take to the roads and skies to travel. Summer vacation, a visit to family or a business trip, all require fuel delivered by pipeline for our cars, trucks and planes. Many factors go into the retail price of gasoline or jet fuel, but America’s pipelines are providing the new supplies that can keep prices down.
Air Travel Depends On Pipelines
You may not think of a connection between airplanes in the sky and pipelines underground, but planes can’t fly without the fuel pipelines deliver. Raw crude oil is delivered by pipeline to refiners. Refined jet fuel is delivered by pipeline to airports. Many airports even have local pipelines delivering fuel to each airport gate area. Pipelines are the least expensive way to deliver that fuel and can help airlines keep their costs down to the benefit of air travelers.
Pipelines Provide the Supply for Lower Gas Prices
- That may be a new container of cosmetics, a bottle of water or prescription medication you just put in your shopping cart, but those consumer items and more started off as a raw material delivered by one of our nation’s pipelines.
- Along with new natural gas and crude oil production coming from our current national energy boom are the raw energy materials ethane, butane and propane used to make plastics, nylons, and rubber. Pipelines deliver these raw materials to manufacturers who eventually make the everyday products you need and want. Finished consumer products you see in the store that got their start as a raw material in a pipeline include: plastic bottles and containers, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, nylon clothes and carpet, rubber tires, paints, adhesives, pipes and more.
While many factors go into determining the price of gasoline at the pump, supply and demand is a big one. It’s basic economics: if supplies are higher, then prices will fall. Pipelines are the best way to deliver new supplies. The Federal Trade Commission has reported that prices in an area tend to fall when there are expansions to pipelines serving that area.
Lower Prices from Pipelines: A Case Study
Pipelines are connecting rising crude oil production from North Dakota, Texas, Canada and in between. This glut of new production kept American crude oil prices $10 to $20 below world crude prices throughout 2012, with Canadian crude prices $25 and more below world prices. Consumers can benefit from these lower crude prices, with lower gas prices or protection from even higher world prices. A study by the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed that when prices were at their highest point in 2012, consumers with good pipeline access in the Mountain West, Midwest and South paid lower gas prices than the rest of the country.
Home Heating Fuel Delivered by Pipelines
Millions of homes in colder climates, especially in Northeastern states, depend upon home heating oil and fuels to stay warm during the winter. Those products are refined from crude oil along with gasoline and diesel. Pipelines are necessary to deliver the high volumes of heating fuel we need to heat all those homes. Pipelines deliver crude oil to refineries. Pipelines then transport refined home heating oil and ultra low sulfur diesel fuel to local distributors who make the final trip to each house in a truck. But without pipelines at the beginning of that supply chain, many homes would not be able to get the fuel they need to stay warm during winter.
Consumer Products Made from Raw Materials Delivered by Pipeline