The American energy revolution currently underway in our country has not only made us a leading producer of oil and natural gas, it has the potential to reshape world politics. But closer to home, the energy boom has created opportunity and employment for many Americans, strengthening the middle class and making possible a renaissance of American manufacturing. Illinois is one of the states in our region that has the potential to benefit from the abundance of energy. As the former head of the Illinois Commerce Commission, Stanford Levin, wrote:
“Energy Transfer Partners is proposing a pipeline, known at the Bakken Pipeline, to carry oil from North Dakota to Patoka, in southern Illinois. This will provide construction jobs in Illinois and will also contribute to the economic development of southern Illinois.”
Mr. Levin rightly notes that in order to capture the benefits of the state’s energy abundance, new pipelines will be needed. Intrastate pipelines, as well as major interstate projects, such as the Dakota Access Pipeline will help bind our region together and help us take full advantage of the benefits of domestic energy production.