This paper’s inflammatory attacks on the tens of thousands of hardworking Pennsylvania men and women who make up our state’s growing natural gas industry, along with the hundreds of locally based businesses that are expanding and hiring in our communities thanks to shale, is offensive.
The most recent example of this troubling pattern was displayed in an Oct. 5 editorial, “Why export Pa.’s fuel overseas?” whereby the paper dismissively referred to Pennsylvania’s shale workforce as “the good-old boys from Oklahoma and Texas.”
To be absolutely clear, a common-sense approach to strengthening America’s energy security through expanding natural gas trade with our key allies around the world is supported by the White House, congressional Democrats and Republicans, independent national security experts and economists – including the liberal Brookings Institution – as well as labor, business and manufacturing organizations.
Top State Department and United Nations officials have touted the undeniable air-quality benefits associated with expanded global natural gas use. The federal government also cites domestic shale development as a key driver in lowering our trade deficit and lifting our entire economy.
Moreover, these natural gas trade benefits have been touted by the editorial pages of The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, among many others.
Thanks to responsible shale development, our nation has shifted from a position of scarcity, weakness and compounding dependence on unstable regions of the world to meet our growing energy needs to an outlook that’s grounded in abundance, enhanced security as well as geopolitical and economic strength.
And President Obama once again underscored these benefits in a recent speech at Northwestern University, stating: “Today, the number-one oil and gas producer in the world is no longer Russia or Saudi Arabia. It’s America.” The president added: “Meanwhile, our 100-year supply of natural gas is a big factor in drawing jobs back to our shores. Many are in manufacturing – which produce the quintessential middle-class job.”
It’s unfortunate that the Times Leader continues to rely on tired, thoroughly debunked talking points in its weak attempt to thwart this positive, shared progress.
But Pennsylvanians recognize these benefits – in the form of more jobs, many for local unions, and economic opportunity; lower energy bills for families, schools and hospitals; a renewed manufacturing base; cleaner air; as well as much-needed tax and fee revenue.
Despite this paper’s verifiably false claims, producing enough energy to meet our nation’s needs and trading some of our job-creating resources with allied nations around the world – so that both they and us don’t have to rely on unstable regions of the world, like Russia – to fuel our economies is a positive step toward America’s energy independence.