Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny, recently penned a column for PennLive voicing his support for the Atlantic Sunrise project.
In his op-ed, “The Atlantic Sunrise pipeline is a path to prosperity for Pa.,” Turzai outlines Pennsylvania’s historic roots in manufacturing:
Pennsylvania has endured structural changes in the bedrock industries of our state’s economy.
However, we have the opportunity to spur economic growth and prosperity for generations to come, and it’s right under our feet. We suffered mightily with the collapse of the steel industry in the 1980s, and some of our hardest-hit steel towns are still struggling. In fact, the state has shed nearly 300,000 manufacturing jobs over the last 20 years.
Energy development and pipeline infrastructure can empower us to compete and win in the 21st century. This will lead to a resurgence in manufacturing. Natural gas can fuel our manufacturing facilities, and its byproducts can be used in a variety of American-made products.
A lack of takeaway capacity, however, is hindering the economic potential of natural gas to reach markets — a problem, he says, that is compounded by overlapping regulation:
In recent years, the energy industry has been working with governments at all levels and landowners to build the infrastructure we need to get the product to market and, most importantly, put our people back to work.
But increasingly burdensome regulatory steps have stifled infrastructure build-out and stymied the economic growth potential natural gas has to offer.
One of the largest proposed pipeline projects is the nearly $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise project, designed to immediately address pipeline bottlenecks by adding close to 2 billion cubic feet of pipeline takeaway capacity.
This project is a tremendous opportunity for Pennsylvania to show that we are not an obstructionist state for American energy and job creation.
Speaker Turzai urges the Wolf administration to move forward with the project, which received federal approval this year, citing much-needed tax revenue and the project’s expected 8,000 jobs and an estimated $1.6 billion boost in the project area.
There is not a single reason for our own state government to further delay approvals and stand in the way of economic growth and jobs.
Based on tax revenue generation alone, the Wolf administration should support construction of the pipeline.
Construction activities are expected to generate about $16.9 million in additional state taxes and total payroll will be about $501.6 million during the construction phase alone.
Pennsylvanians will benefit from the approval of Atlantic Sunrise, which will span 10 counties from Susquehanna down through Lancaster.
An economic impact analysis conducted by researchers with Penn State University estimates 2,300 people will be employed in those counties during the one-year construction phase, which will support an additional 6,000 indirect jobs in supporting industries. It is estimated this will increase economic activity by $1.6 billion in the project area.
We have a president in Washington who is committed to the production of American sources of energy and to keeping manufacturing within our borders.
Pennsylvania is poised, perhaps unlike at any other time in recent memory, to benefit in every way — new jobs, better wages, reduced energy costs, increased tax revenue and economic prosperity for generations to come.
Pennsylvania state government needs to shed its reputation for standing in the way of energy independence and economic prosperity.
You can read the entire column here.