HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement in response to the Delaware River Basin Commission’s vote to ban natural gas drilling:
“We are extremely disappointed to see Governor Wolf vote in lock step with the other states in the Delaware River Basin Commission to ban drilling and activities related to natural gas development in the basin. Throughout the pandemic, we have been told by government leaders to trust the science. The science is clear: as both the EPA and other water quality regulators, including the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, have noted, there is no support to any claim that drilling results in widespread impacts to drinking water, rivers or groundwater. This was a political decision uninformed by science.
“It’s important to note that while Texas and other states in the Midwest faced rolling blackouts, Pennsylvania and the grid it belongs to, PJM, were exporting significant volumes of gas and electricity thanks to our significant portfolio of gas, coal and nuclear resources that provide baseload power. It is quite clear the region and nation rely heavily on Pennsylvania’s resources to keep the lights on, and we must oppose any efforts to restrict the production and transmission of our natural resources.
“The votes by New York, New Jersey and Delaware provide further evidence that these states do not have Pennsylvania’s best interests in mind. Despite being in close proximity to Pennsylvania’s prolific wells, these states have obstructed infrastructure development that would have delivered Pennsylvania’s energy to the states and to customers in New England, where shamefully they have had to rely on foreign natural gas, including a tanker from Russia. These states have also taken regulatory actions to hamper the operating environment for manufacturing and energy resources, and today’s vote should give policymakers further pause in further coordination with these states on energy policy, such as joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
“Finally, the federal government’s decision to abstain from this vote is extremely disappointing, given the national energy security implications of reduced domestic energy development and President Biden’s stated commitment to reducing emissions and re-shoring manufacturing. With our economy reeling due to the pandemic and associated lockdown measures, and recent events highlighting how imperative energy production is, this is no time to let irresponsible voices carry the day and impede energy development.”