American Natural Gas = American Jobs

Responsible shale development, especially across the Appalachian Basin, continues to be a powerful engine of economic growth, shared prosperity and upward mobility for countless of families and communities.

Consider shale’s additional benefits: a manufacturing rebirth in America; economic and environmental stability for consumers; strengthened growth for our nation through common sense trade policies; and more construction activity, which creates work for thousands looking for opportunity.

Yesterday, MSC president Dave Spigelmyer testified before a U.S. House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee panel [and also appeared on The Sean Hannity Show], offering this:

“Increased development and use of natural gas offers tremendous environmental and economic benefits to Pennsylvania and the nation.”

And in a recent visit to Western Pennsylvania, Vice President Joe Biden echoed these facts:

“Now there’s an energy boom. You all know about the Marcellus Shale — I think you heard of that, right? (Applause.) There’s an energy boom that’s changed the paradigm of manufacturing. It’s cheaper to manufacture in the United States than it is in Europe and/or in Asia.”

These broad-based benefits were further underscored in a Erie Times-News column by Dennis Martire, vice president and regional manager of the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA) in the Mid-Atlantic Region, which has more than 20,000 members in Pennsylvania. Key excerpts from Mr. Martire’s column – “Pa. should grow fracking industry” – below:

Most people know that fracking has played a big role in stabilizing Pennsylvania’s economy during the recent recession. What most people don’t know is that states like Pennsylvania still possess tremendous potential to continue to grow the fracking industry even further. This will create thousands of good locally grown jobs right here in Pennsylvania.

According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, energy-intensive manufacturing sectors added more than 196,000 jobs in metro areas from 2010 to 2012. Furthermore, energy-intensive manufacturing employment will increase by more than 1 percent a year through 2020.

This energy revolution is having an amazing impact on our national economy, and states like Pennsylvania have the potential to lead the way on energy-intensive manufacturing employment in the 21st century. Fracking has led to an increase in employment opportunities for people across the state of Pennsylvania. These new economic opportunities mean larger tax revenues for state and local governments to spend on school construction and public safety.

By investing more in fracking, we will create thousands of good jobs right here in Pennsylvania. These are jobs that cannot be outsourced to other countries, and they are jobs that will give workers in Pennsylvania the opportunity to build middle-class lives for themselves and their families.

These jobs are good for Pennsylvania communities because they are helping to revitalize once-forgotten stretches of rural Pennsylvania. … All of this creates a snowball effect that expands Pennsylvania’s local economies.

As a labor leader in Pennsylvania, I know firsthand just how important good jobs are to working families across our state. Working families are tired of the endless political debates that occur on television over developing fracking. Working families do not have time to listen to talking heads ramble on and on about fracking. These families need good jobs now.