Members of the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance (PEIA) spent a few days in western Pennsylvania earlier this month discussing several energy infrastructure and pipeline projects that are helping to drive economic growth and environmental gains in the region.
PEIA spokesman Kurt Knaus was the featured speaker during the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce’s Government Affairs Committee meeting on Friday, Aug. 13. Several chamber members and guests joined the hybrid event to learn about local projects and state policy related to key developments.
Many know Beaver County as home to Shell’s “cracker” plant, a major petrochemical complex that will process ethane from shale gas. But the county also is a major hub for energy development and related assets, including several productive natural gas wells and hundreds of miles pipelines.
Energy Transfer alone has more than 190 miles of pipeline and two compressor stations in the county. Among its more significant assets is Revolution Pipeline, which originates in Butler County and crosses Beaver, Allegheny and Washington counties. From there, the pipeline can hit markets in Ohio and Michigan, with access to additional markets across the U.S. including the Northeast, Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions, as well as the Marcus Hook facility in Delaware County.
That makes the gathering system a lynchpin for getting Pennsylvania gas to markets throughout much of the United States.
Because Pittsburgh International Airport straddles both Allegheny and Beaver counties, members wanted an update on Line 5. The pipeline transports fuels between Canada and Michigan and into Wisconsin, Indiana, eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Line 5 actually supplies the refineries in Toledo that provide 66 percent of the aviation fuel to Pittsburgh International Airport.
A shutdown of the pipeline hasn’t occurred, despite threats from Michigan’s governor, so the pipeline remains operational, but court challenges continue. Its status is important to commerce at the airport and other local transport centers.
PEIA also was among the sponsors of the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Welcome event at Antoline Memorial Park in Monaca on Wednesday, Aug. 18 with chamber President and Executive Director Helen Kissick, who led a conference the following day.
Kissick has been a valued PEIA partner in her work to promote the need for the safe, responsible development of pipeline projects not just in Beaver County but across the state as a way to ensure gas can be delivered to markets and the entire commonwealth can benefit from the resources under foot.
More than 50 local leaders attended the event and heard from the county’s state delegation, including: Rep. Jim Marshall, Republican Chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee; Rep. Robert Matzie, Democratic Chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee; Rep. Josh Kail; and Rep. Aaron Bernstine.
County Commissioner Jack Manning, former head of the Beaver County Chamber when it joined PEIA in 2017, also attended.
PEIA makes sure that the voices of those who benefit from pipeline development are heard, that the facts about pipeline development get their due, and that no charge against pipeline development goes unanswered.
Because of the investments being made in Beaver County, the region remains so important — and it serves as a showcase for the environmental and economic benefits that energy infrastructure projects can produce and sustain locally.