It’s appalling that Fetterman called the natural gas industry a “stain” on our state. Pennsylvania is the second-largest gas producer in the country, and the Appalachian Basin is the third-largest producing region in the world. We have a natural reserve under Washington County and the Marcellus Shale that could power the United States for well over a century. We must utilize this tremendous resource and cut our reliance on foreign energy. For generations, disregarding or disdaining such an abundant natural resource would be foolish.
Beyond the tremendous negative economic impact a fracking ban would bring, the most severe loss would result from the tens of thousands of workers currently employed or supported by the natural gas industry in the state. A 2021 Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection report shows that Pennsylvania’s fossil fuel industry supports about 50,547 jobs. These critical union jobs are family-sustaining and greatly benefit the communities where they live.
Fetterman should be aware that primarily driven by its natural gas production and power plant generation, Pennsylvania is the largest electricity exporter in the country. Washington County also leads the state in the number of wells with 1,938, with more than 500 new wells put into production statewide last year. A ban on fracking would be crippling to our county and nation. Instead, we must ensure that natural gas remains essential to the states and U.S. energy strategy. Pennsylvania should use its assets to rebuild U.S. manufacturing and provide energy security for the U.S. and our allies. In Washington County, that starts with increased natural gas production and opening our pipelines.
I don’t believe Fetterman’s recent flip-flop on fracking is a change of heart. I think it indicates a “stain” on his character.
Washington County Commissioner
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