CANONSBURG, Pa. and SPRINGFIELD, Pa., June 8, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Chambers of commerce in eastern and western Pennsylvania and local labor organizations today joined forces to launch the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance, a broad-based coalition in support of timely approval for critical energy infrastructure in the Commonwealth. The coalition aims to raise the profile of how private investment in pipeline and other energy infrastructure can strengthen the state's economy, create jobs, and increase public safety when projects are properly designed, built and maintained.
"Being competitive with cities around the world is key to attracting and retaining new businesses, industries, and talent to drive economic growth. While Philadelphia has much to boast about, we still need the right infrastructure to make the Greater Philadelphia region a leading energy hub," said Trish McFarland, President of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce and a founding member of the coalition. "Low cost fuel for heating and for fueling the Greater Philadelphia region's growing industries won't be realized unless new infrastructure is developed. Our region has an exceptional opportunity with new pipeline projects to invest in our long-term future."
"Pennsylvania's natural resources give us a competitive edge in the new energy economy and deliver broad benefits for our communities, said James T. Kunz, Jr., Business Manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66 which covers 33 counties in western Pennsylvania. "Local skilled workers are excited to go to work every day to build these projects safely and efficiently – a job we take great pride in."
With increasing development of the state's shale gas reserves, transporting these products, like natural gas and gas liquids, is increasingly important to the region. The members of the coalition believe the availability of low-cost fuels to heat and power homes, businesses and industries will strengthen the region's economic future and the nation's energy independence. Pipeline projects provide many direct and indirect economic benefits, including tens of thousands of construction jobs, millions in annual estimated tax revenue locally and statewide and recurring benefits to manufacturing and other industries that rely on affordable and reliable energy supplies and petrochemicals.
"The commonwealth of Pennsylvania has seen powerful economic growth with the development of natural gas resources that have attracted new investment, new industries, and untold benefits," said Jeff Kotula, President of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, and a founding member of the coalition. "When properly designed, built, and maintained, new infrastructure projects will bring benefits to consumers and the communities where they live, workers, and businesses across the state."
"LiUNA! members pride themselves in being American's builders — and in their commitment to safety," said Dennis Martire, LiUNA! Mid Atlantic Vice President. "The Commonwealth is home to more than 25,000 of our members who are helping to build infrastructure projects that are bringing new energy, job creation, and economic growth to our state and communities."
The coalition's founding members include the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Delaware County Chamber of Commerce, International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66, and Laborers International Union of North America. Through media and grassroots education efforts, the coalition and its members plan to educate lawmakers, members of their organizations, and the public about the benefits of investing today to modernize and create new energy infrastructure to secure Pennsylvania's future.
The Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance supports investments to modernize energy infrastructure to ensure reliable access to low-cost energy to power our local economy and ensure the utmost safety and health of our communities. As the safest mode to transport energy, we believe that investing in new and existing pipelines will benefit our communities through new job opportunities, new industries, and new access to affordable energy over the long-term. Learn more at: www.paallianceforenergy.com
SOURCE Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance