Celebrating collaboration and innovation in Pennsylvania's natural gas industry

By Reps. Dan Newhouse (WA-04) and Yvette Herrell (NM-02)

This piece was originally published in the Towanka Daily Review.

Pennsylvania’s natural gas producers are providing safe, reliable, and affordable energy for the United States and setting an example for states across the country. At the invitation of our colleague, Representative Fred Keller, we recently traveled to northeast Pennsylvania to learn how the natural gas industry is working with communities, industry leaders, and local partners to produce American energy while boosting both the national and local economies.

Just 15 to 20 years ago, there was no natural gas production in this area. Now, it is the fourth leading producing region in the nation. Through American ingenuity, innovation and advanced technological development, and a world-class workforce, the rise of the Marcellus has brought countless benefits to local communities.

Rep. Keller led us on a tour throughout Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, where we visited Lackawanna College School of Petroleum and Natural Gas and the Susquehanna County Career and Technology Center to hear how they are working collaboratively with local oil and gas producers to support the local economy and keep up with the demands for a strong workforce. We also toured sites owned by Williams Companies and Coterra Energy – formerly Cabot Oil & Gas – to see the full lifecycle of natural gas, from drilling to production, and learned how they are working to supply reliable energy for the United States and to protect the environment.
 
This field tour couldn’t have come at a more pressing time. Just this past week, Democrats on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform hosted a hearing seeking to demonize oil and gas producers – all while they lead the way in emissions reduction advancements.
 
Instead of acknowledging the progress made by the industry, Democrats – including President Biden – are intent on eliminating it all together. Rather than embracing the innovation and technological advances made by U.S. companies, they are acting to ban oil and gas production on federal lands and waters, killing domestic pipeline projects, and adopting policies that make our nation more dependent on foreign countries for energy. And now, we’re seeing the impacts of those actions at the pump with historically high gas prices and energy and supply chain shortages that affect every American.
 
In stark contrast to Democrats’ shameful vilification of the oil and gas sector during last week’s hearing – and their continued anti-American energy agenda – our visit showed us firsthand how the natural gas industry in northeast Pennsylvania is producing the world’s cleanest natural gas, working with technical education programs to train the next generation of our nation’s energy workforce, and supporting local schools and communities – like the Elk Lake School District, whose art programs were kept open only due to the royalties from gas production. This is the type of collaboration and innovation we should be celebrating – not shutting down.
 
This region is so fortunate to have a strong voice in Congress. Rep. Keller tirelessly advocates on behalf of oil and gas producers, technical education leaders, and the rural communities he represents who are working to strengthen American energy security and ensure a bright future for all Americans.
 
As Members of the Congressional Western Caucus, a group who advocates in Congress for responsible American energy development, security, and independence, we understand the impacts that decisions made in D.C. can have on rural communities. And we are proud to work alongside Rep. Keller here in the Northeast to fight back against this Administration’s misguided attacks on the progress achieved by natural gas producers in Pennsylvania and beyond.
 
Our goal has always been – and will continue to be – raising the voices of local communities in our nation’s capital, and our trip to Pennsylvania emphasized the need to keep doing exactly that.

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