The Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance (PEIA) marks its two-year anniversary today. Over this time, PEIA has underscored the responsible development of pipeline infrastructure to catalyze energy connectivity in Pennsylvania and across the country.
According to Drexel economist Kevin Gillen, “transportation by pipeline is far and away the safer and more environmentally friendly choice when it comes to transporting natural gas.”
Anthony Gallagher, Business Manager of Steamfitters Local 420 expands that, “when it comes to the safety of the pipelines and safety of the refineries and power houses, we spend $3 million a year in training. Our people go through a rigorous five year training program, so the safety and quality is at the utmost, highest level.” Gallagher continued that with regard to the Mariner East projects, on Mariner I, they had “over 600,000 man hours produced, which is roughly $45 million in wages and benefits just to Steamfitters Local 420 alone.”
Trish McFarland, president of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, explained the importance of this to Pennsylvania given how, “we went through a tough time with our refineries closing and now we’ve seen – because of this revitalization – new businesses.” Gillen elaborated that, “we are the number two natural gas producing state and natural gas is the number one heating fuel for the majority of commonwealth households, so it is a really significant part of the commonwealth’s economy.”
“It’s more than just successful businesses,” David Black, President and CEO of the Harrisburg Regional Chamber Capital Region Economic Development Corporation, concluded. “It’s about building a great place to live, to work and to play.”
This broad-based coalition effort is addressing real needs for economic and energy revitalization in Pennsylvania. Two-years strong…and we have only just begun.