|ENTERPRISE PRODUCTS PARTNERS L P filed this Form 10-K on 02/28/2018|
Greenhouse Gases/Climate Change
Responding to scientific reports regarding threats posed by global climate change, the U.S. Congress has considered legislation to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. In addition, some states, including states in which our facilities or operations are located, have individually or in regional cooperation, imposed restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions under various policies and approaches, including establishing a cap on emissions, requiring efficiency measures, or providing incentives for pollution reduction, use of renewable energy sources, or use of replacement fuels with lower carbon content.
The adoption and implementation of any federal, state or local regulations imposing reporting obligations on, or limiting emissions of greenhouse gases from, our equipment and operations could require us to incur significant costs to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases associated with our operations or could adversely affect demand for the crude oil, natural gas or other hydrocarbon products that we transport, store or otherwise handle in connection with our midstream services. The potential increase in our operating costs could include costs to operate and maintain our facilities, install new emission controls on our facilities, acquire allowances to authorize greenhouse gas emissions (whether emitted by our operations or associated with fuel that we supply into the markets), pay taxes related to greenhouse gas emissions, and administer and manage a greenhouse gas emissions program. We may not be able to recover such increased costs through customer prices or rates, which may limit our access to, or otherwise cause us to reduce our participation in, certain market activities. In addition, changes in regulatory policies that result in a reduction in the demand for hydrocarbon products that are deemed to contribute to greenhouse gases, or restrictions on their use, may reduce volumes available to us for processing, transportation, marketing and storage. These developments could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
In addition, due to concerns over climate change, numerous countries around the world have adopted or are considering adopting laws or regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is not possible to know how quickly renewable energy technologies may advance, but if significant additional legislation and regulation were enacted, the increased use of renewable energy could ultimately reduce future demand for hydrocarbons. These developments could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
Certain of our customers employ hydraulic fracturing techniques to stimulate natural gas and crude oil production from unconventional geological formations (including shale formations), which entails the injection of pressurized fracturing fluids (consisting of water, sand and certain chemicals) into a well bore. The U.S. federal government, and some states and localities, have adopted, and others are considering adopting, regulations or ordinances that could restrict hydraulic fracturing in certain circumstances, or that would impose higher taxes, fees or royalties on natural gas production. Increased regulation and attention given to the hydraulic fracturing process could lead to greater opposition to crude oil and natural gas drilling activities using hydraulic fracturing techniques, including increased litigation. Additional legislation or regulation could also lead to operational delays and/or increased operating costs in the production of crude oil and natural gas (including natural gas produced from shale plays like the Eagle Ford, Haynesville, Barnett, Marcellus and Utica Shales) incurred by our customers or could make it more difficult to perform hydraulic fracturing. If these legislative and regulatory initiatives cause a material decrease in the drilling of new wells and related servicing activities, it may affect the volume of hydrocarbon projects available to our midstream businesses and have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
See “Regulatory Matters” under Part I, Item 1 and 2 of this annual report for more information and specific disclosures relating to environmental, health and safety laws and regulations, and costs and liabilities.
Federal, state or local regulatory measures could have a material adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.
The FERC regulates our interstate liquids pipelines under the ICA. State regulatory agencies regulate our intrastate natural gas and NGL pipelines, intrastate storage facilities and gathering lines.