Pennsylvania natural gas produces economic prosperity, more secure homeland

September 26, 2019
In The News

While 2020 Democrat Presidential contenders and socialists in the halls of the United States Congress are trying to find ways to ban fossil fuels, kill American jobs, and weaken America’s status in the world, Pennsylvania and our energy producers are growing our state’s economy and enhancing our national security by priming the United States to be a net energy exporter.

A decade ago, when Pennsylvania was facing the Great Recession and the decline of its industrial sector, the natural gas industry held up, creating thousands of good-paying jobs.

In many rural areas across northeast Pennsylvania, the natural gas industry — and the downstream employment opportunities that come along with it — has created an economy at or near full employment with wages rivaling our nearest metropolitan areas.

During our district work month in August, I saw firsthand the great work being done by natural gas producers throughout Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District and the great community partners they have become.

I witnessed the natural gas industry creating good-paying jobs and injecting new life into our local economies as energy companies continue to partner with local communities to invest in schools and higher education, improve our infrastructure, and grow down-stream jobs.

Of particular significance, I toured Cabot Oil & Gas’s operation in Susquehanna County and saw the partnership they have created with Lackawanna College’s School of Petroleum & Natural Gas. It was incredible to see such a powerful partnership between the natural gas industry and a strong workforce development program that is training students for good-paying, in-demand jobs.

The energy sector in Pennsylvania now sustains more than 320,000 jobs, pays more than $23 billion in wages, contributes $45 billion to the commonwealth’s economy, and saves the average household $1,100 every year in energy costs.

We must continue to promote job growth and economic opportunity throughout the 12th Congressional District, and the natural gas industry will continue to play a significant role in that effort.

In addition to improving the quality of life and economy in areas across northeast Pennsylvania and rural America, the Commonwealth’s natural gas boom has increased our ability to become energy independent, strengthening our national security and boosting our position as a global leader.

The success of the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania and across the United States has completely shifted long-term thinking about American energy policy and our role in the global energy marketplace.

Thanks in large part to our nation’s robust supply of natural gas, the United States is no longer energy dependent, relying on foreign adversaries to meet our energy needs.

For the first time in six decades, the United States is a net natural gas exporter.

We can now use our energy exports as leverage in our foreign policy, giving our allies flexibility, while diminishing the influence of unfriendly nations like Russia.

One way to marginalize countries that do not like the United States is to bankrupt them.

The less we are forced to buy the energy exports from our foreign adversaries, the worse their economies become, and the less they are able to exert influence over us.

For example, last year, Massachusetts was forced to import natural gas from Russia due to New York’s refusal to put in place pipeline infrastructure that can get natural gas to markets where it is needed.

Those concerned about Russian interference need to be concerned with Russia’s ability to influence our country when Americans are forced to buy natural gas from Russian gas companies and when countries like Russia have leverage to increase the price of natural gas in the winter time and turn the lights off for millions of Americans.

What those planning to eliminate fossil fuels — including natural gas — seem to not realize is that such a proposal spells more pain than just massive tax increases for working families.

It means weakening our national security by eliminating our ability to be energy independent, killing a thriving energy economy and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports, and stopping investment in rural America.

In short, natural gas is contributing to a rural renaissance in communities across northeast Pennsylvania and the United States.

I am proud to represent a community that stakes claim to such a vital asset, and I will remain committed to helping ensure it provides family-sustaining jobs throughout this congressional district.