Without adequate infrastructure development, Pennsylvania will not be able to take full advantage of the many benefits available to Pennsylvania thorugh the development of the Marcellus and Utica Shale Formations. Pennsylvania is now the second largest producer of natural gas, which means we have the ability to produce the necessary energy for our own need as well as the regions and beyond.
It is well documented that we currently do not have adequate infrastructure to support this development and an OpEd in the DelCo Times by a former Louisiana Congressman highlights the importance of regional development, processing, and distribution.
With these vast resources, it is important to regionalize production to capitalize on the resources in various regions. There is no reason for Pennsylvania-developed resources to ship to other regions for processing only to be transported back to Pennsylvania for end-use. This is inefficient and more costly than regional development itself. Additionally, having those train and truckloads of volatile material on the highways and bi-ways with our friends, relatives and other citizenry is an ongoing and dangerous proposition. Thousands and thousands of daily shipments running parallel to our personal automobiles every hour of every day is a very scary proposition.
Energy industry leaders have been involved in changing the course of that conversation, and Energy Transfer Partners, Williams and Shell have made real strides in revitalizing local energy infrastructure and spurring economic growth through the proposed Mariner East 2 pipeline, the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, and Shell’s ethane cracker plant in Pennsylvania. Also, the revitalization of the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in southeastern Pennsylvania provides a necessary access point for Pennsylvania energy resources to markets, which need these products.
This growth has given new life to southeastern Pennsylvania, where Sunoco recently began shipping ethane domestically by truck. Sunoco also transports propane to Marcus Hook through the Mariner East pipelines, which is used to heat and power homes and businesses, and bolsters Pennsylvania’s industrial and manufacturing sectors. With such local energy wealth, refusing to make necessary infrastructure investments does not make sense. From a regulatory and permitting perspective, it is past time for regional leaders to support Pennsylvania and develop a more integrated energy network with upstream, midstream, and downstream sectors.
Improvements to our state’s infrastructure are critically important for our citizens well-being and safety, which includes our pipeline infrastructure. Now is the time to make these investments.