Yesterday in Beaver County a roundtable was hosted to foster a discussion on current and future opportunities for natural gas in Pennsylvania. A number of industry, community, and business members were provided a seat at the table to offer unique and valuable insights on the subject for well over an hour.
A large portion of the discussion centered on the $6 billion Shell cracker plant. The parent company, Shell, structured a deal that required a $1 billion investment in the state that would create 2,500 jobs throughout the construction project. With this contract came an environmental cleanup pledge. Members on the panel were quick to acknowledge the positive impact this plant has had on the area for tax revenue and jobs purposes.
It was also noted that Shell had shared a list of 100 manufacturers waiting to sign product contracts for materials processed at the cracker plant – a significant boost in business for the region and a strong indicator of the plant’s value – with public officials.
The ending segment of the roundtable turned to discussing the importance of energy infrastructure, specifically natural gas pipelines and making sure the transit is available to keep plants like Shell’s operational. This project and the countless benefits that come with it are not possible without the necessary pipeline infrastructure to support this type of a facility. Pennsylvania is currently seeing a rash of anti-pipeline activism, much of which glazes over the immense economic benefits through local investment, jobs, and tax revenues for Pennsylvania. Not to mention the increased availability of these energy products, which provides an added benefit to consumers.
It is encouraging to see collaborative and productive conversations about the energy landscape in Pennsylvania.
Video recording of the roundtable is here. The meat of the Shell discussion begins at minute 55 and broader pipeline discussion starts at 1:11:30.