Another major investment opportunity has passed by Pennsylvania.
A recent article published by Politico highlighted how “President Donald Trump claimed another win in his bid to revive America’s flagging industrial sector on Wednesday, with the White House revealing that Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Foxconn will invest $10 billion to open a new plant in Wisconsin…The plant is expected to create 3,000 jobs at the outset, with the potential to reach 13,000 jobs over time, according to a senior White House official who briefed reporters ahead of the announcement.”
This decision is the latest in a string of decisions to forego plant development in Pennsylvania in favor of another state. In June, the Philadelphia-based Brazilian thermoplastics producer, Braskem announced “that it had formally approved spending $675 million to build a new polypropylene plant in Texas after ruling out a site last year in Marcus Hook because of the lack of infrastructure.” Additionally, “last year, local business leaders held up Braskem’s decision to expand in Texas as an example of why Pennsylvania business and political leaders needed to support the build-out of pipeline infrastructure to deliver raw material from the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations.”
Both Braskem and Foxconn had looked at a number of locations before settling on their designated plant locations – and seriously looked at Pennsylvania given its proximity to Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) shale reserves. In point of fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released State Energy Data System estimates yesterday for net energy supply on each state’s energy consumption and production, which found that Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming ranked “as the top net energy suppliers among states.” The study elaborated that “Pennsylvania’s growth in natural gas production has made it a major net exporter of energy in recent years…[and] with rapid growth in natural gas production, pipelines are now being reconfigured to send natural gas out of state to the Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions.”
Further delays to projects like the Mariner East pipelines threaten to continue this trend of hindered capacity development and energy connectivity in Pennsylvania – and take jobs and economic opportunities out of state. Pennsylvania’s NGL reserves bode serious returns for its residents and businesses. It is time to move forward with projects like Mariner East to bring these opportunities home.