The Consumer Energy Alliance, a longtime member of the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance, invited the coalition to talk about what’s next for the state and nation in terms of energy during one of its regular tele-town hall and briefings Thursday, Nov. 12.
PEIA Spokesman Kurt Knaus joined CEA Mid-Atlantic Regional Director Mike Butler; Ray Cantor, Vice President of Government Affairs of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association; and Brian Samson, President of Associated Builders and Contractors, Empire Chapter, and Board Member of Unshackle Upstate.
The briefing focused on energy in energy savings and opportunities in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
CEA release a report, “How Pipelines Can Spur Immediate Post-COVID Economic Recovery,” which found increased production of abundant, affordable natural gas saved Pennsylvania consumers more than $32.1 billion from 2008-2018. Residential users alone saved almost $13.8 billion. Based on current population estimates, that equals to more than $1,077 per citizen. Pennsylvania’s small businesses and industries, including plastics and steel manufacturing facilities, saved more than $18.3 billion.
“These savings bring relief to Pennsylvania’s families; keep the state’s industries competitive and its jobs abundant,” Butler said.
With the state firmly established as an energy leader, Knaus said the question now is, what comes next?
Getting this gas to market is key to sustained market growth. A network of state-of-the-art pipelines is necessary to transport these resources safely, and Pennsylvania must continue to invest more in pipeline infrastructure in order to attain the full benefits possible.
He pointed to two ongoing projects of importance.
In the coming months, the Mariner East pipeline network, which runs across Pennsylvania, should be complete and fully in operation, providing a key west-to-east energy highway to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in southeastern Pennsylvania for processing and use.
Likewise, the Revolution Pipeline system, which runs through western Pennsylvania, has turned a corner and, once completed, will provide local developers with increased access to markets.
Another important component of these projects, Knaus explained, is that both rely on and employ Pennsylvania’s best-trained, highest-skilled union construction workers, which showcases the skills of our work force and proves developers’ commitments to get these projects completed responsibly and operated safely.
“With natural gas, we have seen the latest energy story in Pennsylvania build over the last 10 years. But the reality is that this sector is still in its infancy,” Knaus said. “With continued investment, we will see even more jobs, increased commerce and lower energy bills for consumers and businesses alike.”