Shale Advocates Launch Grassroots Initiative

Nearly 700 shale industry supporters turned out last night in Wilkes-Barre for the launch of United Shale Advocates (USA), a new grassroots initiative focused on ensuring that we advance common sense, predictable policies that encourage investment and job growth across the Commonwealth.

While Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support the safe and tightly regulated development of job-creating shale, USA will provide a new platform for a diverse set of stakeholders – economic development organizations, labor, small business, agriculture, conservation, consumers and others – to further engage in the increasingly important energy and public policy debate.

Here’s what they’re saying about last night’s event:

  • “Pennsylvania Energy Equals Pennsylvania Jobs”: On Wednesday, the [MSC] rolled out its latest initiative, the United Shale Advocates, as a way for those not directly involved with gas drilling to speak up to state and federal lawmakers and promote drilling’s growth. … Between 650 and 700 people — drilling and business leaders, labor advocates and chamber officials — those who have seen their bottom line grow due to shale gas production filled a boisterous conference hall. The new program is to use tools such as letters to the editor and rallies in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C., to keep lawmakers informed about how its members want policy to play out, coalition President David Spigelmyer said. One such rally is planned for May 6 on the state Capitol steps to promote state jobs and energy production. More information is on the program’s website, shaleadvocates.com. “It’s an opportunity for us to engage folks from broad segments of the community,” Spigelmyer said. “Folks that are looking for an outlet to have their voice heard.” … State Sen. John Yudichak, D-Plymouth Township, welcomed the crowd and drummed up applause for the coalition, commending its efforts in bringing the crowd together. “You deserve a rounding, standing ovation for putting 700 people here in Northeastern Pennsylvania to talk about the most important issue that’s happening in Pennsylvania; that’s the energy revolution,” Yudichak said. Yudichak said that while the discussion in Harrisburg ensues over regulations, with recent decisions potentially hampering growth, he said the industry has undeniably helped many sectors of the state’s economy and deserves to be commended. “There can be no debate in how important the investments that the companies that are represented in this room, how important those investments are in the Pennsylvania economy,” Yudichak said. “Pennsylvania energy equals Pennsylvania jobs.” (Times-Leader, 3/19/14)
  • Shale is Bringing Pennsylvanians Home, Creating Labor Jobs: The development of Marcellus Shale brought Cherie Gudz, a 1995 Wilkes University graduate, back to Pennsylvania after years of working all over the East Coast. Ms. Gudz, senior vice president of commercial laboratory company Microbac, remembers many of her fellow graduates with science degrees leaving the area after graduating, a trend she believes is reversing. … Since 2008, Microbac opened six new labs in Northeast Pennsylvania, including one on Main Avenue in Scranton. Ms. Gudz was one of four speakers with ties to Northeast Pennsylvania at the meeting of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the first such meeting in the region. It used the event…as an occasion to launch a pro-natural gas initiative, United Shale Advocates. The coalition’s website, shaleadvocates.com, describes it as “an online neighborhood for committed advocates of shale gas and those who want to learn more about the industry.” Its first event is a May 6 rally at the state Capitol in Harrisburg. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers business manager Michael Kwashnik also credited the industry with bringing some jobs to Northeast Pennsylvania. Mr. Kwashnik made similar observations about skilled labor jobs. Since 2010, workers with the local unions laid 1,000 miles of pipe and worked 11 million man-hours on gas-related jobs, he said. (Times-Tribune, 3/20/14)

msc1Click HERE to watch a news segment on last night’s event.

  • “Marcellus Shale Coalition Launches New Advocacy Organization”: The Marcellus Shale Coalition launched a grassroots advocacy program, United Shale Advocates, to reach out to Pennsylvania residents who support shale development but aren’t in the natural gas industry. … The goal of United Shale Advocates is to give a voice and a platform to those who support shale development in Pennsylvania but who are not directly involved in the industry, said Steve Forde, vice president of communications and outreach for the Pittsburgh-based MSC. “It’s a movement to tie together those interested in Pennsylvania energy and it’s a platform for them to engage further,” Forde said in an interview Wednesday. “This is a movement that at its core is about making clear to elected officials that this industry is about more than just a pipeline or a well pad. It’s about farmers, it’s about small business owners, landowners and union members, all of whom have a positive stake in Pennsylvania energy.” (Pittsburgh Business Times, 3/19/14)
  • “Marcellus Shale Coalition Launches New Advocacy Group”: The companies that develop Marcellus Shale gas want their supporters to speak up. … The new group, United Shale Advocates, will hold rallies, write letters, share positive stories and otherwise “give voice to this growing citizens’ movement here in the commonwealth,” coalition president David J. Spigelmyer said during the trade association’s meeting at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs. United Shale Advocates will organize events through a website, shaleadvocates.com, and it will hold its first major rally in Harrisburg on Tuesday, May 6. (Post-Gazette, 3/19/14)
  • “MSC Launches Shale Advocates – An Army of Shale Volunteers”: The Marcellus Shale Coalition is the premier organization of its kind for promoting shale drilling. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, the MSC has some 300 members and associate members. … The MSC has enormous influence with lawmakers and does a great job with publicity for shale drilling. Just one thing missing–and that’s a way to involve people who “advocate” or support shale drilling but don’t necessary work in the industry or belong to the MSC. How to enlist the help of the army of volunteers who would be willing to spread the word to family and friends–and perhaps nudge their local political officials–to support responsible shale drilling? The MSC has the answer. Yesterday they launched a new initiative called Shale Advocates that encourages shale supporters–no matter where they are and who they are–to help write letters and emails, and even call, political officials. It is a way to focus the efforts of the vast army of volunteers who support shale energy–a force for good. And frankly, a force for reason in an age of unreason. (Marcellus Drilling News, 3/20/14)

Please be sure to visit shaleadvocates.com and engage in the growing grassroots movement on Twitter (@ShaleAdvocates) and Facebook! And for those interested in attending the upcoming May 6th rally in Harrisburg for Pennsylvania Jobs, Pennsylvania Energy, click HERE.