Radio Recap: Natural Gas a “Winner for the Region”

Natural gas is driving manufacturing job growth, consumer savings, and clean air progress, all “winners for the region,” MSC’s Dave Spigelmyer said during radio interviews across the Commonwealth this week.

Here’s a few key highlights from radio row:  

On a Generational Manufacturing Opportunity

“We’ve got a petrochemical facility being built in the west that will create new manufacturing jobs in Pennsylvania. Companies like Proctor & Gamble up north are actually using natural gas to provide their own on-site power and fuel for the plant. Those are winners for the region and they grow jobs broadly across the commonwealth,” Spigelmyer told KDKA.

“Those that drive north up into Beaver County may see what’s going on with the Shell petrochemical facility. I think there are fifty-three cranes on that site right now. It’s an incredible economic development project. Our building trades are flat out working every guy in their sheds; it’s not only the operating engineers or the LiUNA folks building pipelines, but it’s the steamfitters and the iron-workers… It’s an enormous economic win, and in the next five years I believe we will see much of the downstream manufacturing opportunities materialize as well,” Spigelmyer told WMBS.

On Clean Air Progress

“We’re going to meet the 2025 targets of Paris because of the fact that we have reduced CO2 emissions, NOX emissions, volatile organic compound emissions – all because of natural gas. It’s a very clean burning fossil fuel, and it’s been a huge winner,” Spigelmyer said on WMBS.

On Safe, Responsible Development

“I’ve spent my whole life as a Pa. resident and nearly every member of our board around our table is a Pennsylvanian. We want to make sure it gets done correctly and doesn’t leave scars upon the landscape. I would tell you that we have some of the strongest rules in the country; last year we drilled about 800 wells in Pennsylvania, and there were 17,000 inspections,” Spigelmyer told WMBS.

On Home Energy Savings

“Our utility rates for natural gas consumers – and over half of Pennsylvanians heat their homes with gas – the savings have been anywhere from 51% to 78% from the purchased natural gas price,” Spigelmyer told WILK.

“Natural gas rates in 2008 were $13.71 MMBtu, today I think it was $2.60. In comparison- last winter in New England states and primarily New York where they’ve blocked pipeline construction, gas from TRANSCO’s Zone 6 into New York sold at $175 MMBtu; every utility in Pennsylvania was under $5 at that time. It’s been a huge opportunity for Pennsylvanians, especially those with fixed incomes and low incomes,” Spigelmyer said on WMBS.

On Gov. Wolf’s Proposed Energy Tax Increase

“I know the governor says that we’re the only state that doesn’t have a severance tax, but we’re the only state in the country that has an impact tax. It was passed back in 2012 and has now generated $1.43 billion dollars, with another $247 million is estimated to be collected in April to put us at about $1.7 billion. Part of the impact fee carves dollars out to come back locally to do many of the same type of projects that the governor talked about on the infrastructure piece that he announced last Thursday,” Spigelmyer told WILK.

The concerning part for me is that the governor totally dismisses the funds that are generated in the impact tax. He adds a 4.5% tax on top of that and renders Pennsylvania’s business investment in shale uncompetitive with other states. … It’s not worth it for Pennsylvania to start losing investment that’s driving job producing opportunities for the commonwealth,” Spigelmyer told KDKA’s John and Larry.

Listen to the full interviews below:

MSC’s Dave Spigelmyer on with WILK’s Frank Andrews:

MSC’s Dave Spigelmyer on with WMBS’s Doug Saltzman:

To listen to MSC’s Dave Spigelmyer on with KDKA’s John and Larry, click HERE.

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