Securing America's Future Energy

Closure of Colonial Pipeline in Wake of Hurricane Harvey Highlights Continued Energy Security Vulnerabilities

Contact: Bridget Bartol | 202.461.2361 |

Hurricane Harvey’s debilitating impact on the U.S. energy industry, through the closure of Gulf refineries and key energy infrastructure including the Colonial Pipeline, brings to light our nation’s energy vulnerabilities, our outsized reliance on a single fuel source to power our transportation networks and the importance of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to our energy security.

Following the closure of the Colonial Pipeline Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) released the following statement:

“Hurricane Harvey is serving as a reminder that even an industry as robust as domestic oil and an area as resilient as the Gulf Coast still have vulnerabilities. The shale boom has made us stronger as a nation and far more energy secure, but no level of domestic production can ever fully insulate us from supply disruptions,” said SAFE President and CEO Robbie Diamond. “Motorists may rediscover that gasoline price spikes and volatility can still impact their bottom line, and we continue to urge policymakers to diversify transportation fuel supply so we are not hostage to one fuel source that can be impacted by weather or geopolitical events.”

Reports estimate that 20-25 percent of U.S. refining capacity has been taken offline, and the Colonial Pipeline’s closure of its gasoline, diesel and jet fuel supply lines will affect a broad network from Texas to New York. The pipeline provides almost 40 percent of the southern United States’ gasoline supply.

Today, the Department of Energy confirmed the drawdown of 500,000 barrels of crude from the SPR to help mitigate the impending price increases. This move reaffirms the importance of maintaining strategic reserves to ease supply disruptions from national disasters or geopolitical events—not to offset federal spending.

SAFE commends the heroic efforts of the coast guard, emergency services and rescue workers and members of the public who are tirelessly working to ensure the safety and security of everyone affected by the hurricane. We urge policymakers to properly address these vulnerabilities in the coming months through the strengthening of energy infrastructure and diversifying fuel options to bolster U.S. national, economic and energy security.

About Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE)

Securing America’s Future Energy (SAFE) is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America’s dependence on oil. Near-total dependence on petroleum in the transportation sector undermines the nation’s economic and national security, and constrains U.S. foreign policy. To combat these threats, SAFE advocates for expanded domestic production of U.S. oil and gas resources, continued improvements in vehicle fuel efficiency, and the advancement of alternative fuels in the transportation sector including electric vehicles and natural gas trucks. In 2006, SAFE joined with General P.X. Kelley (Ret.), 28th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, and Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President, and CEO of FedEx Corporation, to form the Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a group of business and former military leaders committed to reducing the United States’ dependence on oil.


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