Energy Transfer LP created a new group the Dallas-based company said Feb. 11 is tasked with increasing its efforts to develop alternative energy projects and reduce its carbon footprint.
Operator of the infamous Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), Energy Transfer has been embroiled in legal battles over the past five years over its DAPL project, which now faces new threats from the Biden administration.
Energy Transfer, which began in 1996 as a small intrastate natural gas pipeline operator, has since grown into one of the largest and most diversified midstream service providers with logistics and transportation platforms for natural gas, NGL, crude oil and refined products. In 2019, the company also signed its first-ever dedicated solar power purchase contract for its Maplewood 2 project located in the Permian Basin.
The newly formed Alternative Energy Group will continue, the company said in a Feb. 11 release, Energy Transfer’s focus on renewable energy projects such as solar and/or wind farms, either as a power purchaser, or in partnership with third party developers. Led by Tom Mason, the group will also look to develop renewable diesel and renewable natural gas opportunities “when they make economic sense,” the company added.
Potential projects could involve the utilization of existing pipelines throughout Energy Transfer’s extensive pipeline system, which consists of more than 90,000 miles of pipelines crossing 38 states, according to the release.
Under the leadership of Mason, who has spent the past 14 years of his 30-year career in the industry as Energy Transfer’s general counsel, the Alternative Energy Group will also help the company continue to reduce its environmental footprint throughout its operations. Energy Transfer noted in the release it has been reducing its greenhouse emissions over the past 10 years.
Mason will continue as Energy Transfer’s general counsel as well.
The universe’s most abundant element, hydrogen has been touted for decades as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels, but attempts to commercialize it for use in vehicles and industry have largely failed.
The announcement follows similar investments in renewable energy made by Chevron within the past week including a geothermal pilot project in California as the U.S. oil major expands its exposure in low-carbon technology.
The $8 billion Jordan Cove LNG export project in Oregon is one of several major energy projects that received strong support from former U.S. President Donald Trump but have since failed to move forward.