A Flawed Call to Action

Pennsylvania’s Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force met last week to continue discussions on energy development within Pennsylvania. This group, which was formed by Governor Wolf, met to discuss how our state could continue safely, efficient transport of Pennsylvania’s energy resources. Sadly, the meeting was overrun with groups that simply oppose to infrastructure development.

Here at PEIA, we believe pipeline infrastructure investments provide countless direct and indirect benefits to our communities. A couple of those benefits include increased jobs and a broadened tax base for our communities. But, we support public discourse, including asking the important questions about energy development and pipeline infrastructure. The task force should be credited for allowing the public to provide input, however we wish the meeting would have been more focused on the intent of the meeting – pipeline development, long-term operations, and maintenance while reducing environmental and community impacts.

Stan Silverman, Leadership Catalyst at Tier 1 Group, spoke out against these anti-investment perspectives in his recent article published in the Philadelphia Business Journal:

“This [energy] industry is one on which our high standard of living is built with products derived from crude oil and natural gas. It is an industry that has done so much to provide high-skilled and high-paying jobs…

By opposing this industry, you are hurting the people you want to help, as well as hurting the economic vitality of the Philadelphia region.” 

That being said, Pennsylvanians should be working to make it better. At the meeting, activists from out of town and out of state partook in the discussion, especially on Twitter. The politics and issues regarding topics in Pennsylvania should be decided by the people who live here – not by New Yorkers, Marylanders, or even by movie stars. They are not directly affected by happenings in Pennsylvania and do not have Pennsylvania’s best interest in mind.

The efforts of the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force should be encouraged as well as discussed throughout Pennsylvania’s communities.  The energy resources are needed and therefore the investments into infrastructure are needed.