Jeff Kotula: Commentary Local energy reserves grow Pennsylvania’s economy

The Mariner East projects are helping to grow Pennsylvania’s economy while creating thousands of jobs for hard workers all across the state. Jeff Kotula, President of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and Phil Ameris from the Laborers International Union of North America, recently had a piece published in The Pittsburgh Observer Reporter in which he explores just how significant the benefits of the Mariner East projects will be.

The projects will generate a one-time economic impact of $9.1 billion, while supporting nearly 60,000 jobs while the projects are being constructed. And, as they write,

“The new report, which updates an earlier but similarly impressive economic analysis that was issued in February 2015, further states that the Mariner East projects could generate an estimated $122 million in total to the commonwealth over the length of the construction period. It is difficult to argue with these numbers. Truly, the revitalization of our region and our entire commonwealth as a thriving energy hub is bringing home jobs and economic returns, and the estimates continue to get better with time and development.”

Kotula and Ameris conclude by writing,

“The fact is that we are not just building a modern energy infrastructure with projects like the Mariner East pipelines. We are giving a huge, sustained boost to our entire commonwealth economy.

Unfortunately, work on the Mariner East project recently was halted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). But this project remains critically important for our commonwealth, as the Econsult study underscores. It is important for Sunoco and DEP to work expeditiously to get the safe, responsible development of this project back on track.

Natural gas clearly is playing a central role in our economic resurgence, as Pennsylvania’s shale reserves now account for about 20 percent of total U.S. natural gas production. Over time, we have seen the integrated development of energy infrastructure projects across upstream, midstream and downstream sectors. Investments in these projects need to continue, and they deserve our support. The projects are setting the stage to ensure Pennsylvania continues to boost its manufacturing, transportation and trade opportunities over the long term. And all along the way, as it is along the pipeline route, the benefits are shared by many.”

You can read the full piece here.