Tapping the natural gas reserves in Pennsylvania is crucial to catalyze economic growth across the Appalachian region.
The Bipartisan Policy Center and four U.S. senators proposed 19 measures today “to boost the economy in Appalachia.” These measures range from expanding broadband to capitalizing on the “natural gas reserves for chemical and advanced manufacturing facilities.” The initiative is focused on reducing poverty in the 13-state Appalachian region and underscores how important tapping the wealth of natural gas in this region is for regional economic development.
Jeff Shields, spokesman for Sunoco Logistics, noted that the Mariner East projects play an important role in this economic development: “This multi-billion-dollar project is employing thousands of union workers and many local contractors and vendors. They are hard at work on the pipeline throughout Pennsylvania and at Marcus Hook right now, doing the kinds of jobs that keep families rooted here. Our pipeline work is performed by members of the Building Trades unions, and we have committed to offer at least 50 percent of all work to local union halls. These men and women have the experience, skill, training to build this pipeline safely for their neighbors.”
This supports the recent findings from a PwC report, which detailed that “the U.S. natural gas industry is a blockbuster job creator… [that] reaches all 50 states, both producing and non-producing states. The industry supports 322,600 jobs in Pennsylvania, the nation’s No. 2 natural gas producer, and 258,500 jobs next door in New York, the nation’s No. 4 consumer of natural gas”.
As stated above, Pennsylvania is the number 2 natural gas producing state in the country. Expanding energy infrastructure and capitalizing on this natural resource tap into the economic potential of the Appalachia – and harbor direct and indirect benefits for people across the region.