HARRISBURG – Senators Camera Bartolotta (R-46), Gene Yaw (R-23) and John Yudichak (I-14) joined Jim Gallagher with Steamfitters Local 420 and Matt Toomey with International Union of Operating Engineers Local 542 to discuss the need for responsible natural gas infrastructure.
With United States households already projected to see heating bills jump as much as 54 percent compared to last winter, speakers warned how the ill-conceived call for a moratorium on natural gas development will not only exaggerate energy costs on consumers but be detrimental for the environment and good-paying jobs across the Commonwealth.
“The greatest threat to the affordable, clean, natural gas energy is not a lack of natural resources, a shortage of capable workers, or an unwillingness to adhere to environmental regulations. No. The real threat comes from lawmakers and environmental extremists who do not understand or appreciate how important the oil and gas industry is in our daily lives. This is not just an issue of affordability. As we saw in Texas last winter, access to energy can mean life or death,” Sen. Bartolotta said.
The price surge is not limited to the United States. In fact, it is much worse in Europe and Asia which has prioritized renewable energy investments at the cost of reliable energy production. They rely heavily on Russia to deliver gas and oil to its citizens.
“The unfolding energy crisis in Europe and Asia and the higher heating costs headed our way this winter are what happens when activists and government leaders obstruct the construction of energy infrastructure. With our state’s massive energy resources, we should not be pleading with Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to send us more energy,” said Gene Barr, president and chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.
There is no shortage of gas; there is a shortage of accessible gas.
“As lawmakers, we have an obligation to be aware of the competing interests that involve our state and the nation,” said Sen. Yaw. “The actions of surrounding states have stalled energy infrastructure development that is vital to creating new jobs and new markets for Pennsylvania natural gas and related liquids, not only here at home, but across the northeast and world. The lack of pipeline development is also contributing to the large price disparity that is putting Pennsylvania gas producers at a disadvantage, while aiding our global natural gas competitors. Our neighboring states thumb their nose at Pennsylvania gas and embrace the purchase of gas from Eastern Europe. I encourage other states to take a realistic look at where their energy needs stand and the implications of the choices they are making. Sooner or later, the lights will go out due to unrealistic energy policy.”
“Pennsylvanians deserve an honest debate on our energy agenda – one that recognizes the progress we have made in improving our environment, one that strives to keep energy affordable for all consumers, one that values the dignity of energy jobs, and one that recognizes Pennsylvania’s energy infrastructure is the foundational component of an economy that can lift the personal fortunes and general welfare of every Pennsylvanian,” said Sen. Yudichak.
“If Harrisburg commits to a pro-production, pro-deployment agenda for our energy economy, Pennsylvania will create more hard-hat jobs for working people, accelerate economic growth, and lower monthly bills for consumers. The most critical step at this hour is building out the infrastructure to deliver that Pennsylvania energy from where it is harvested to the downstream customers who can benefit from it: industrial, commercial, and residential,” said David N. Taylor, president and chief executive officer of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association.
CONTACT: Katrina Hanna (Sen. Bartolotta’s office), 717-787-1463
Nick Troutman (Sen. Yaw’s office), 717-787-3280
Scot Pitzer, (Sen. Yudichak’s office), 717-705-7734