The Biden administration proposed a $2 trillion infrastructure bill in April flush with items that in the past were not considered infrastructure. Typically, infrastructure consists of roads, bridges, highways and tunnels, projects associated with moving people and goods. The transportation section of the bill, the portion closely associated with the oil and gas industry is $621 billion. Of that, $174 billion is marked for electric vehicles and $115 billion on roads and bridges. Yes, less on repairing the nation’s aging highways, tunnels and bridges. Included in the transportation section are $85 billion for modernizing transit systems and $80 billion for Amtrak repairs. You could probably make a case for those two budget items. There are a whopping $650 billion earmarked as “Quality of Life at Home.” This part of the bill is for homes, school buildings, water infrastructure and broadband expansion. Of that, $213 billion are planned for building affordable homes and $18 million for Veterans Affairs hospitals.
Here is another interesting industry item: Biden wants to spend $16 billion to plug oil and gas wells. Yet, I didn’t know building 500,000 homes for low- and middle-income owners and plugging oil and gas wells was considered infrastructure. Did you? The enormous bill includes funding for caregivers for the elderly and disabled and research and development. The bill sets aside $400 billion to expand Medicaid and improve access to care for the elderly and disabled. The R&D section includes $480 billion to invest in manufacturing, domestic production of critical goods and $50 billion for the semiconductor industry. The ambitious bill has big numbers and much of it has nothing to do with infrastructure. The proposed infrastructure bill is an expensive wish list funded by an increase in the corporate tax rate. The country needs an affordable, moderate and traditional infrastructure plan. Items associated with the definition of infrastructure total $600 billion and are projects with wide support and programs that have been the backbone of the oil and gas industry for decades.
The CEO of U.S. Energy Media, Emmanuel Sullivan is a technical writer who has built up his profile in the oil and gas industry. He lives and works in Houston, where he publishes Oilman and Oilwoman on a bimonthly basis, and Energies quarterly, distributing the magazine to energy thought leaders and professionals throughout the United States and around the world. At a time when technology is rapidly changing, he provides an invaluable service to oil & gas, and renewable energy executives, engineers, and managers, offering them both broad and specific looks at the topics that affect their livelihoods. Sullivan earned his BA in Communications at Thomas Edison State University and his MA in Professional Writing at Chatham University.
Oil and gas operations are commonly found in remote locations far from company headquarters. Now, it's possible to monitor pump operations, collate and analyze seismic data, and track employees around the world from almost anywhere. Whether employees are in the office or in the field, the internet and related applications enable a greater multidirectional flow of information – and control – than ever before.