Washington, D.C. – The American Gas Association (AGA) and our members envision a future where our nation’s abundant supply of clean natural gas continues to provide affordable energy for homes and businesses and also runs a significant number of our vehicles, generates power and supports other forms of renewable energy. This future will be built upon the more than two million miles of natural gas pipelines operated by America’s natural gas utilities, who provide safe and reliable service to customers today while building the 21st century infrastructure necessary to serve the nation’s energy needs tomorrow.
AGA welcomes the Building and Renewing Infrastructure for Development and Growth in Employment (BRIDGE) Act that would help close America’s widening infrastructure gap by establishing an Infrastructure Financing Authority to complement existing funding mechanisms and expand overall infrastructure investment. Eligible projects would include all modes of transportation infrastructure, water infrastructure, and energy infrastructure in the transmission, distribution and storage sectors.
“Our nation has an incredible competitive advantage with both an abundant domestic supply of natural gas and an extensive pipeline system to carry this resource to homes and businesses safely and reliably,” said AGA President and CEO Dave McCurdy. “To take full advantage of this opportunity, we must invest in upgrading and expanding this network, making the economic and environment benefits of this clean energy source available to all Americans.”
The bipartisan bill was introduced by Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) and is cosponsored by a number of their colleagues from both sides of the aisle. It outlines an extensive governing structure to help ensure the efficacy of the Infrastructure Financing Authority (IFA). A government-owned entity, the IFA would not be controlled by any federal agency and instead would operate independently. The IFA would provide loans and loan guarantees in an effort to incentivize private sector investment. Projects would have to go through a rigorous analysis and show a clear public benefit, meet economic, technical and environmental standards and be backed by a dedicated revenue stream.