State, Federal Policies Matter in Realizing Shale’s Economic, Environmental Benefits

As President Trump reaffirmed during the State of the Union address last week, the state of American Energy has never been stronger and there’s a federal green light to unlock more clean, domestically-produced energy. President’s since the Eisenhower administration, in fact, have used the State of the Union to address the need for greater American energy security, MSC’s Dave Spigelmyer said in a statement.

Under President Trump’s leadership, as he outlined tonight, America’s energy outlook has never been stronger, as the United States has quickly become the world’s energy production leader.

“America’s energy position has rapidly transformed from a period of scarcity, high prices and weakness, to abundance, affordability and strength. Thanks to domestic natural gas, America is less reliant on foreign nations to meet our energy needs, which allows us to avoid sending men and women in uniform into harm’s way to protect the free flow of energy. At home, our hardworking and skilled building and union trades across Pennsylvania are near full employment, manufacturing is making a comeback, families and small businesses are paying less for the energy they need, and we continue to make considerable environmental and air quality progress.

“President Trump – along with other pragmatic and solutions-focused elected officials – understands how clean, domestic natural gas is empowering economic, environmental and community progress across the country.”

It’s no secret that the shale revolution has been a game-changer for Pennsylvania. Fully realizing the generational economic and environmental benefits tied to shale, however, could be dependent on the state and local policies enacted.  

Just hours before the President applauded America’s long-sought achievement of energy independence, Governor Tom Wolf called, once again, for additional energy taxes energy that would jeopardize jobs and needed investment to the Commonwealth.

The Governor’s plan, especially given current challenging market conditions, would be a “gut-punch” to the industry, as MSC’s Spigelmyer said in a statement:

“Amid a sharp market downturn, Governor Wolf’s plan for additional energy taxes jeopardizes job-creating investment in Pennsylvania and will be a gut-punch to the hard-working employees, building trades union members and families who want to pay less for the energy they need, not more. Pennsylvania’s existing tax on natural gas is on track to generate nearly $2 billion since 2012 – revenue that’s dedicated for communities to strengthen roads and bridges, improve parks and trails, flood mitigation, and emergency services, to name a few.”

As in year’s past the Governor’s proposal was received coldly by House and Senate leadership, with Speaker Mike Turzai criticizing the Governor’s plan, which will increase energy costs for working families:

“Everyone knows a severance tax will shut down the growth of energy independence and manufacturing and the development of the petrochemical industry and all the family sustaining jobs that are incumbent with it,” (2/6/20)

 MSC president Dave Spigelmyer discussed these policies proposals, as well as the broader benefits of natural gas development, with KDKA radio’s Larry Richert last week.

Highlights of Spigelmyer’s comments include:

  • “We’ve seen the economic revival not in spite of natural gas, but because of natural gas.”
  • “In fact, the very technologies [Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders] are trying to proport – windmills and solar panels – are manufactured through the use of natural gas.”
  • We’ve got the most the most affordable energy on the planet here in Pennsylvania, and it’s going to drive new manufacturing broadly – not just in western Pennsylvania but across this entire region if we play our cards correctly.”
  • “Folks make the comment that this is an unregulated industry, where we are the most regulated in the Commonwealth. We’ve asked for high levels of regulation, we’ve asked for scrutiny. We welcome it and we perform at a very high level.”

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