Banning the safe production and use of clean, affordable and domestic natural gas, as shared in a Feb. 14 column, is a surefire way to reverse environmental progress and squash sustained economic growth, especially among Pennsylvania’s working middle class. Despite the outspoken views of extreme activists, we don’t have to choose between a healthy, thriving environment or economic growth – with Pennsylvania-produced natural gas, we can and do, have both.
Pennsylvania has tough, modern regulations that, combined with industry-leading best practices, protect our air and water. And, as more clean natural gas is used in power generation, critical, asthma-causing air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and particulate matter plummet. Nationwide, greenhouse gas emissions have fallen to the lowest point since the early 1990s, making the United States a global leader.
Crediting natural gas for this measurable air quality progress, Pennsylvania’s top environmental regulator, Patrick McDonnell, told lawmakers recently that “we were already well on our way” to achieving the Obama-era Clean Power Plan targets “and have actually since met those proposed goals primarily because of the shift toward cleaner natural gas.”
Alongside this important clean air progress, natural gas production – and the safe transportation to market – is directly benefitting Pennsylvanians, as PECO customers, for example, are enjoying an average of $1,600 annually in home energy savings.
Radical, outside the mainstream anti-energy policies aren’t grounded in reality and will cause lasting damage to Pennsylvania’s economy and environment. We’re proud of the progress we’ve achieved and remain committed to the responsible development of the Pennsylvania energy that’s moving our state – and environment – forward.
David Spigelmyer, Marcellus Shale Coalition, Pittsburgh
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