Voters, business leaders, elected officials, and building trades unions agree, abundant natural gas drives manufacturing growth.
Pennsylvania produced natural gas is the key component to manufacturing high-demand consumer goods, from life-saving medical equipment to plastics for smartphones and computers, and fertilizers for growing crops. Low-cost natural gas provides the region with a competitive advantage for manufacturers to invest, grow and generate long-term job growth, which local building and trades unions are eager to fill.
Perhaps now – amid a worldwide public health and economic crisis – more than ever American manufacturing is critically important.
In southeastern Pennsylvania, for example, employees voluntarily spent 28 days straight at the Braskem America complex in Marcus Hook, Pa. to manufacture polypropylene, a chemical compound sourced from natural gas liquids that’s used in making N-95 masks and other protective gear.
In Wyoming Co., Procter & Gamble’s paper manufacturing plant is working in overdrive to ease the high demand for paper products. That plant runs on natural gas produced beneath the property, making it energy self-sufficient.
Manufacturers continue to look to Pennsylvania and its world class natural gas resource and skilled, ready workforce, for expansion.
A $500 million natural gas synthesis plant, which will convert natural gas into agriculture fertilizers, is in the planning phases. That facility alone expects to permanently employ about 200 Pennsylvanians, in addition to the 600-1,000 needed for construction. Another in Luzerne Co. is being considered that will result in similar economic impact.
Some want to see this American manufacturing renaissance – and the thousands of good-paying, including many union, careers – eliminated by either halting the growth of new facilities or the natural gas wells that make this possible.
It should not be lost on anyone that natural gas is delivering a manufacturing revival and critical to sustaining modern life. From ventilators to antibacterial wipes, natural gas creates life-saving equipment while providing a reliable energy source to power our homes, hospitals, and vehicles.
Here’s a closer look at what bipartisan majorities, unions, and business leaders have to say about furthering energy and petrochemical development in Pennsylvania:
- The Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia: “The Commonwealth’s access to abundant, affordable natural gas represents a significant and strategic opportunity. This natural resource has the ability to create jobs, strengthen our competitiveness, and foster a robust quality of life across the state.” (2/24/20)
- Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pa.): “In western Pennsylvania, people feel betrayed when they hear that there are any Democrats who support the elimination of jobs in our communities — good, middle-class, union jobs — and whose policies could easily lead to an increase in carbon emissions. Where I come from, jobs come first, thanks in part to a long history of union organizing that formed the traditional backbone of our party.” (2/14/20)
- David M. Taylor, President & CEO, Pa. Manufacturers’ Association: “This manufacturing industry — and the value it brings — could be the foundation of an entirely new economy, one that would provide family-sustaining jobs for generations to come.” (3/27/20)
- Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.): “The fact is natural gas has transformed Pennsylvania. It’s changing our country.” … “It has led to a whole renaissance in the petrochemical industry.” (2/20/20)
- Jeff Nobers, Executive Director, Builders Guild of Western Pa.: “[Pennsylvania] is of the most robust economies in the country. And it’s mostly fueled by the gas industry, the burgeoning petrochemical industry, manufacturing.” (1/27/20)
- Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald: “No city has benefited more form the shale revolution than the City of Pittsburgh…I’ll never forget seeing the Marcellus Shale in 2007 and realizing we have hope. We have hope for the future.” (10/31/19)
- Stefani Pashman, CEO of Allegheny Conference on Community Development: “A strong economy is essential to provide prosperity for everyone who lives here while we work together to improve our environment and quality of life. Leveraging the region’s natural and human resources in a responsible way is part of our diverse economic development strategy.”(10/31/19)
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