Unlocking Pennsylvania Energy Could Boost Security and Slash Dependence on Foreign Nations

Pennsylvania has long been a leader in energy production, from its first oil well in 1859 to becoming the nation’s second-largest natural gas producer today. But the state’s potential to maximize its energy resources is stymied by regulatory hurdles and opposition.

A sustainable future and energy independence require an essential component: pipelines and related energy infrastructure. The importance of American energy independence is exemplified during times of conflict, such as the ongoing situation in Ukraine, which recently marked its one-year anniversary.

Recent opinion pieces by Kevin Sunday, Director of Government Affairs at the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, and Michael Butler, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance, emphasize the significance of Pennsylvania’s energy infrastructure in supporting a sustainable energy future.

As Sunday points out (“Replace Russian energy with cleaner U.S. natural gas,” Feb. 27), Russia’s energy weaponization has left Europe in dire need of natural gas. Through energy producing states like Pennsylvania, the United States can fill that gap.

Butler notes (“Pennsylvania is making progress on protecting the environment while being a major gas producer,” Feb. 13) that while Pennsylvania achieved a record gas output in 2021, fewer new wells were drilled, proving that environmental goals can be met while maintaining high production levels.

To fully realize the potential of Pennsylvania’s energy resources, policymakers must prioritize investment in energy infrastructure and work to streamline the regulatory process, according to state Sen. Camera Bartolotta (“Pipelines Can Secure Our Energy and Economic Future,” March 1.).

This includes implementing policies that promote innovation and the development of new pipelines and related infrastructure, as well as addressing concerns related to safety and environmental impact.

Investment in energy infrastructure will not only support the state’s economy but also reduce reliance on hostile actors like Russia. This idea is not new at all. In fact, PEIA has considered the geopolitical consequences of restricting the state’s energy production for quite some time (“Russia’s aggression is proving American needs to be energy independent,” April 28). Little has changed.

By prioritizing energy infrastructure and leveraging its diverse energy assets, Pennsylvania can continue to lead the way to help our citizens at home and our allies abroad.