The US is undergoing an unprecedented oil and gas revolution. In fact, secretary of state John Kerry, who spoke at the SelectUSA summit in Washington, DC in October, called America’s growing energy production a "game-changer" and claimed that the US is on its way to becoming the world’s largest oil producer by 2020.
Norman Anderson, president and CEO of CG/LA Infrastructure, a Washington think tank that specialises in infrastructure projects, pinpointed energy independence as one of six competitiveness visions in its Fifth Annual Strategic Top 100 North America Infrastructure Projects report. The 2013/2014 report values energy projects at $135bn and notes that they concentrate on newfound resources: power generation, large-scale renewable projects, liquids pipelines, the support infrastructure for new developments, and the resources drawn from new gas and oil production that pays for strategic projects.
Many of the projects on the list are big-ticket items: the Alaska South Central LNG Project (valued at $65bn), the Flanagan South Pipeline Project that runs from Illinois to Oklahoma (valued at $2.8bn); the Sandpiper Pipeline that runs from North Dakota to Wisconsin (also valued at $2.8bn) and the Cameron LNG Export Terminal located along the Calcasieu Ship Channel in Hackberry, Louisiana (valued at $10bn).
The list includes other key infrastructure categories with specific projects. These are gateway hubs such as ports, logistics systems and waterway improvements (valued at $35bn); projects vital to the increased performance of cities and their surrounding urban areas (valued at $45bn); projects that connect regions inside and outside the US Interstate Highway (valued at $141bn); projects concerning heartland waterway systems (valued at $52bn); and partnerships for competitiveness, which includes Canada and Mexico (valued at $27bn).
Among the large projects listed are the California High-Speed Rail plan (valued at $69bn) and the New York City Storm Protection plan (valued at $19bn). CG/LA Infrastructure estimates the total value of the projects to be $435.7bn. It expects these projects to add 1% to US GDP each year from 2015 to 2020.
“To regain our global competitiveness, we need to double our investment in infrastructure,” says Mr Anderson. “To do that we need to be creative, resourceful and above all bold in identifying projects, and getting those projects quickly approved and built.”