A recent op-ed by Pam Witmer, former member of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and current Vice President of Government Affairs at UGI Energy Services, in Penn Live underscored the importance of natural gas reserves in Pennsylvania fueling local manufacturing capacity.
Ms. Witmer highlighted that “this week Pennsylvania and the country celebrates manufacturing. It’s well-deserved recognition for a sector that offers high-tech careers, family-sustaining salaries, and on that contributes more than $2 trillion to the U.S. economy. Looking back over the past several years, there’s been a contributing factor to U.S. manufacturing growth: America’s natural gas revolution, the heart of which is Pennsylvania.” She clarifies further that “to continue our natural gas advantage, an expanding pipeline network is vital to ensure reliable delivery for manufacturers and all those looking for the clean-burning fuel. Natural gas pipelines are part of that necessary and needed infrastructure.”
Correspondingly, a recent blog in Energy in Depth underscored that “While there are several pipeline projects in the works in the Appalachian states of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, the process is years long and, particularly in the Northeast, projects have been delayed due to protests and litigation brought on by “Keep It In the Ground” activists. As PBT reported, this is having negative impacts not only on companies trying to sell an abundant supply of Marcellus and Utica gas, but also on consumers”.
The benefits of expanded energy infrastructure in Pennsylvania extend across industries and communities – and need to be acted upon now to bolster manufacturing capacity and general energy connectivity in the Appalachian Basin.