Colleen Newman served as policy and external affairs advisor to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, a professional society engaged in upstream oil and gas development. She previously served as an energy advisor to Puerto Rico Governor Luis Fortuño. Ms. Newman also spent several years as a government affairs advisor at the law firm of Brickfield, Burchette, Ritts and Stone P.C.
One of President Trump’s major campaign promises was to improve America’s infrastructure. Most agree it is in desperate need of repair and investment in areas such as transportation, dams, drinking water, parks, and energy infrastructure. The backdrop for this conversation is a report card published by the American Society of Civil Engineers, which grades infrastructure in the U.S. every four years.
The recently released report card for 2017 gave the overall state of infrastructure in the U.S. a D+. ASCE defines that grade as in fair to poor condition and in need of serious upgrades. In 2013, the last time ASCE released its report card, U.S. infrastructure also received a grade of D+.
The report card contains a section that specifically addresses energy infrastructure, and gives that sub-section a grade of D+. Again, no change in grade from the last report card. The major reason for this grade: many existing electric transmission and distribution lines are at the end of their life expectancy and, in many cases, at full capacity. These factors can lead to increased energy prices for consumers and less reliability.