In many areas of the United States, the infrastructure required to deliver energy has not always kept pace with growth in demand. To improve energy delivery and enhance the electric transmission grid for the future, several government agencies currently are working together to establish a coordinated network of Federal energy corridors on Federal lands throughout the United States. Energy corridors would help address growing energy demand by facilitating future siting of oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines and electricity transmission and distribution facilities, while also protecting the environment. As the agency-preferred siting locations, the energy transport corridors will provide industry and the public with greater certainty in infrastructure planning and will also speed development of future energy infrastructure on Federal land with the least impact
Section 368 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) directs the Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Energy, and Interior to designate, under their respective authorities, corridors for oil, gas, and hydrogen pipelines and electricity transmission and distribution facilities on Federal lands in the 11 contiguous Western States (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming), to perform any required environmental reviews, and to incorporate the designated corridors into relevant agency land use and resource management plans or equivalent plans. Section 368 also directs the agencies to take into account the need for upgraded and new infrastructure and to take actions to improve reliability, relieve congestion, and enhance the capability of the national grid to deliver energy. EPAct also calls for identifying corridors in the other 39 states and to expedite processes for future projects in these energy corridors.