The important role Pennsylvania‘s natural gas industry plays in our economy, environment, and national security cannot be emphasized enough.
It was a pleasant surprise to discover that Gov. Tom Wolf decided not to target the industry with additional taxes to pay for an increase in state spending as part of his budget proposal for the first time in eight years.
Recent international events have highlighted the critical need for the United States to shore up its own energy resources — including natural gas. Russia‘s recent invasion of Ukraine has jeopardized international relations and thrown the global energy market into turmoil as the bulk of Europe‘s natural gas supplies come from Russia.
And the impact isn‘t limited to Europe. Due to a lack of pipeline infrastructure, New England states have also had to rely on foreign energy sources, despite the fact that Pennsylvania‘s prolific natural gas reserves are mere miles away. But we can reduce our reliance on foreign energy sources by promoting pipeline infrastructure and supporting policies that will help the industry thrive.
In addition to playing a key role in our nation‘s security, the industry has also led to a manufacturing renaissance in the commonwealth. Thousands of indirect and manufacturing jobs have been created as a result of Pennsylvania‘s natural gas industry. In fact, nearly half a million jobs in the state are supported by natural gas and oil. One example is the construction of Shell‘s Petrochemicals Complex in Beaver County. The $6 billion project has breathed new life into the region with countless job opportunities.
Natural gas has led to lower energy bills for Pennsylvanians across the state. It has also helped improve the commonwealth‘s overall air quality by leading to a decrease in CO2 emissions.
Natural gas is a game–changer – not just for Pennsylvania but also for our country.
Jezree Friend, assistant vice president of external relations, Manufacturer & Business Association, ErieAuthor: Jezree Friend
Publication: Go Erie