Pennsylvania’s energy future took center stage last week at a number of well-attended PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) hearings. The hearings, which began last week in Altoona, Lebanon and West Chester, will continue in Harrisburg and Youngwood this week. Throughout the deliberations, the Laborers International Union of North America’s (LIUNA) case for developing clean power solutions resonated strongly as regulators heard comments on a promising infrastructure project – Mariner II East – that will move clean natural gas liquids, unlocking affordable energy for the state of Pennsylvania at a time when new energy sources are urgently needed.
Under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, the Keystone State faces an energy shortfall of 64 million megawatts/hour by 2030 –nearly a quarter of its projected energy portfolio. Fortunately, a number of common-sense infrastructure projects are already underway that would mitigate the state’s deficit by expanding its utilization of cleaner-burning natural gas. Pipelines like the Mariner II East pipeline, PennEast and others can help the state reach the ambitious clean air goals while also ensuring that food is kept on Pennsylvania’s working families’ tables, and lights are kept on in their businesses.
LIUNA members stood out as a powerful and visionary voice in the conversation. On Altoona TV, in the West Chester Daily Local and the Altoona Daily Mirror, LIUNA members spoke about the Clean Power Progress – a new LIUNA campaign – that lays out a pragmatic vision for a stronger, cleaner Pennsylvania.
Projects like the Mariner II East pipeline and others promise to create thousands of good jobs for Pennsylvania’s skilled workforce while injecting $3 billion into the state economy. Just as importantly, they will ensure Pennsylvania’s energy security as the state works to reduce carbon pollution by 23 percent under the federal Clean Power Plan.