At a hearing hosted by Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the continued conversation about energy infrastructure development occurred with supporters for the redevelopment of Marcus Hook Industrial Complex showing up in droves. Leading the conversation were members and stakeholders of the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance, accounting for a majority of the stakeholders who provided in-person testimony.
“Our county, like any county in Pennsylvania, has had its ups and downs,” said Trish McFarland, President of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. “But in recent years, we have seen a tremendous upswing. And one of the biggest reasons is the revitalization of the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex. I cannot emphasize enough how important this facility is to the continued revival of our local communities and our entire commonwealth.”
In total, 16 speakers presented their testimony, with 12 of those being strong supporters of the Marcus Hook Complex and its many benefits. The revitalization of Marcus Hook, like other energy infrastructure projects in Pennsylvania, would bring positive benefits to the economic development of the Commonwealth. Pennsylvanians would see an increase in economic activity, including job growth and reinvestment into their communities, in addition to greater access to energy resources including propane, which many Pennsylvanian’s depend on for heat during the cold winter months. Two members of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IOUE) emphasized these benefits at the hearing:
“I can tell you firsthand that the economic benefits of natural gas in the Marcellus and Utica shale formations have transformed life in western Pennsylvania,” said Chris Petrone, Legislative Director for IUOE Local 66. “That same transformation is coming to Delaware County and eastern Pennsylvania with projects like the Marcus Hook complex, which is helping to turn this region into an ‘energy hub’ and creating new opportunities for workers and communities alike.”
“With Marcus Hook, this region is well positioned to be the ‘energy hub’ for manufacturing — a turn of events that would create hundreds of high-quality jobs,” said Frank Bankard of IUOE Local 542. “This kind of economic boost in jobs and investment will stimulate millions in revenue. That’s an economic stimulus to our local communities, and revenues for counties to invest in roads, schools and public safety.”
All-in-all the hearing was a success for the revitalization of energy development across Pennsylvania. Projects like Mariner East and the revitalization of the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex are necessary to support the current energy boom in Pennsylvania and provide consumers with the needed energy resources for daily use. The tremendous of support represented at Thursday evening’s hearing is a representation of where Pennsylvanians stand on this important issue.