Keller, Scalise urge American energy independence in webinar

April 23, 2021
In The News

Two congressmen paired with a representative from a Pittsburgh gas company to speak about fossil fuels and natural gas during an online webinar.

Congressman Fred Keller, R-Kreamer, and House Whip Stephen Scalise, R-Louisiana, spoke with George Stark, the executive director of public relations for Cabot Oil and Gas, a gas company in Pittsburgh.

The three discussed subjects such as the benefits of keeping oil companies domestic, the environmental impacts of the fossil fuel industry and investing in infrastructure.

“In order to sustain good-paying jobs, create prosperity for future generations and secure American interests around the globe, we must reject and counteract policies that place a higher premium on appeasing the radical left than protecting the future of America’s energy sector,” Keller said.

Scalise explained that practices in the United States involving carbon emissions are the best in the world. Scalise said manufacturers such as steel mills in India and China create a byproduct of five times the carbon as the ones in America, all to produce the same product.

However, he said many Democrats want to implement regulations that will scare industrial investment away to other countries.

“Steel prices are through the roof, and we’re relying on China and India,” Scalise said. “The best way to save the planet is to make more stuff in America, where we have good standards.”

Scalise accused Democrats of wanting a war between jobs and the planet.

“Democrats don’t want to see the hardworking men and women of the Gulf and Marcellus Shale oil and gas industry succeed,” Scalise said.

According to Scalise, the presence of oil rigs and pipelines is not detrimental to the nearby environment. Rather, he said wildlife has a symbiotic relationship to the construction of oil rigs and pipelines. Ironically, one of the best places to fish is right next to an oil rig, according to Scalise.

Scalise said because of American standards in equipment for oil rigs and other industrial factories, wildlife harvested around them are perfectly safe to eat.

“We love this symbiotic relationship between the oil and gas industry and seafood industry,” Scalise said.

Scalise said the loss of the Keystone Pipeline was unnecessary and criticized both New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and President Joe Biden for shutting down construction of pipeline projects.

Keller said one positive benefit of fossil fuels is that impact fees, such as the Act 13 Marcellus Shale Fund, put around two million dollars back into the hands of local municipalities in Pennsylvania, with which they can locally reinvest into their communities.

Keller also briefly mentioned opportunities at Lackawanna College’s School of Petroleum and Natural Gases as another such investment into local communities that provides job opportunities.

According to Keller’s office, there are 300,000 jobs in Pennsylvania’s energy sector. The sector pays more than $23 billion in wages, contributes $45 billion to the state’s economy and on average saves households $1,100 in energy costs.

“The state of Pennsylvania, as well as our nation as a whole, has an abundance of natural resources. This abundance gives us plenty to discuss, and it’s important to bring energy advocates and policy makers together to further the industry,” Stark said following the meeting.

Scalise chairs the House Energy Action Team, on which Keller sits as well. The team is a coalition of House Republicans representing districts with significant energy infrastructure who want to promote energy policies that address rising prices, create jobs and enhance energy independence.

Think About Energy, the platform which hosted the webinar, “brings communities, legislators, and business professionals together to discuss the environmental, political, and economic factors of energy,” according to the group’s website, thinkaboutbriefing.com.