HARRISBURG – Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) and Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9) announced today that they will introduce legislation designed to make natural gas available to more Pennsylvanians. The Pennsylvania Natural Gas Expansion and Development Initiative will promote the expansion, distribution and use of low-cost, energy-efficient, Pennsylvania-produced natural gas, thus developing an intrastate market for our own resources.
The incentives will primarily focus on encouraging “anchor users,” such as schools and hospitals, to convert to natural gas. The legislation will also adopt mechanisms for the Public Utility Commission to use in reviewing current levels of natural gas service and to enable public utilities to more efficiently expand natural gas services to areas which are currently underserved.
“The abundant natural gas reserves found in the Marcellus Shale formation represent an incredible growth opportunity for our state,” Senator Pileggi said. “We should make that resource easily available to as many Pennsylvanians as possible.”
“According to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, only 51 percent of Pennsylvania homes are heated with natural gas,” Senator Yaw said. “Certainly, the lack of natural gas service is a hardship for citizens in Pennsylvania who are required to purchase more expensive heating sources simply because of a lack of natural gas distribution infrastructure. Expanding that infrastructure is critically important to providing consumers with the best energy value, both now and into the future.”
Senator Yaw said the lack of infrastructure affects both rural and urban communities. “That lack of service is a barrier to future development and job creation, but it is a barrier that we can and should remove,” he said.
Senators Yaw and Pileggi have circulated a co-sponsorship memo, seeking support for the Natural Gas Expansion and Development Initiative from other Senators. The legislation will be introduced in early 2013.
Additional information about state issues is available at Senator Yaw’s website, www.SenatorGeneYaw.com, and at Senator Pileggi’s website, www.SenatorPileggi.com.
Nick Troutman (Senator Yaw), 717-787-3280
Erik Arneson (Senator Pileggi), 717-787-4712