Three million miles of natural gas pipelines criss-cross the U.S., and the fight against climate change could render them all obsolete.
The last two weeks alone illustrate the stakes. President Joe Biden canceled the permit for the $9 billion Keystone XL oil pipeline on his first day in office, a clear signal any new fossil fuel pipeline project in the U.S. will face long odds. His climate envoy, former Secretary of State John Kerry, warned that natural gas pipelines could become “stranded assets” within 30 years as the administration seeks to end carbon emissions from power plants. And NextEra Energy Inc. wrote off $1.2 billion of its investment in the Mountain Valley gas pipeline from West Virginia to Virginia, which has been tied up in regulatory and legal delays.
So pipeline owners are eyeing another, possibly future-proof fuel: hydrogen.