HARRISBURG – A bipartisan group of state lawmakers joined leaders in business, labor and industry today to highlight the economic and public safety benefits of pipeline infrastructure development.
Senate Gas and Oil Caucus co-Chair Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46) emphasized the importance of the oil and natural gas industry to the state’s economy. The industries have a nearly $44.5 billion economic impact in Pennsylvania, supporting nearly 322,600 jobs and generating nearly $23 billion in wages.
“By a wide margin, pipelines are the safest and most efficient means of transporting gas and oil products to consumers,” Bartolotta said. “The demand for these resources is growing every day. It is essential that we support the safe, responsible development of pipeline infrastructure so our Commonwealth can reap the considerable economic benefits of these critical industries in the form of more jobs and lower energy costs to consumers.”
Representative Eric Nelson (R-57) pointed out that pipelines also lead to a healthier environment due to lower carbon emissions than transportation by rail or truck. Senate Gas and Oil Caucus co-Chair John Blake (D-22) and Senator Sharif Street (D-3) also offered remarks in support of the responsible development of pipelines due to the economic and environmental benefits.
Steamfitters Local 420 Business Manager Jim Snell highlighted the knowledge and experience of the state’s construction workers, allowing them to complete projects safely with minimal impact on the environment. Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce Director of Government Affairs Kevin Sunday touted the importance of the multi-billion dollar investments generated by the industry.
Bartolotta emphasized the economic impact of the continued development of pipelines in the future and said that the greatest threat to the industry is not a lack of resources or workforce, but politicians who do not understand or appreciate the impact of the gas and oil industries in the lives of Pennsylvanians.
“Pennsylvania is uniquely positioned to be a national leader in the gas and oil industries for decades into the future, particularly based on our rich deposits of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale region, coupled with our skilled workforce,” Bartolotta said. “What happens over the next several months and years will determine whether we will be a leader in these industries for a generation. The future of these industries hinges on our willingness to support pipeline projects that show the greatest promise in terms of economic development and public safety.”
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