With New Year Approaching DEP Should Focus on Pennsylvania’s Energy Needs

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently released their “year-in-review” for 2016. As 2017 is right around the corner, PEIA hopes that the New Year will translate into a newfound focus on our state’s lacking energy infrastructure.

One of DEP’s main accomplishments from 2016 was “Investing in PA’s New Energy Economy.” According to the agency, “DEP and the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force sent nearly 200 recommendations for pipeline safety, construction, permitting, and siting to Governor Tom Wolf. The task force presented the 184 recommendations in six major categories, designed to drive wider public discussion on the critical, complex, and interrelated environmental and community issues that Pennsylvania faces in the development of the infrastructure needed to transport gas to market.”

PEIA hopes that the DEP will continue the Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force process and begin to implement its findings. More specifically, finalize permits for private energy infrastructure like Mariner East 2 project. The state should recognize that an efficient conclusion to the permitting process will benefit everyone involved. Every delay to projects like the Mariner East project represents thousands of dollars in investment and hundreds of hours for laborers lost.

Thanks to development in the Marcellus Shale region, our state’s energy production potential is endless, but our time to act is not. Past projects like the Centennial Pipeline or the Braskem Petrochemical facility labored under a slow government implementing an inefficient regulatory process. As a result, the Gulf Coast is now reaping the rewards of our state’s natural resources, not us.

The window is closing on Pennsylvania’s capacity to become the next East Coast energy hub, PEIA hopes 2017 will be the perfect time to capitalize.