We often read and hear about the need to expand natural gas pipelines and associated infrastructure. From Mariner East to PennEast to Atlantic Sunrise and many more, state and federal regulators are weighing the approval of thousands of miles of critical energy infrastructure.

But what can be lost in some of the highly charged, black-and-white rhetoric at these public hearings is an answer to the very central question — why? Why is natural gas infrastructure so important for the commonwealth?

Natural gas pipelines — which Pennsylvania’s hardworking and highly skilled building trade union members safely construct — are the cornerstone to realizing shale’s economic and environmental benefits. What’s more, this infrastructure is unquestionably the safest way to transport energy, as 99.999 percent of crude oil and petroleum products delivered by pipeline reach their destination safely, according to a new report.

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