For Immediate Release
October 31, 2019
HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement in response to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s comments against another petrochemical facility and the natural gas industry:
“Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s recent comments condemning the region’s energy and manufacturing sector are as misinformed as they are misguided. Regional labor leaders objected to his comments as an insult to skilled men and women in local trades, and let us add the business community’s opposition to the content and tenor of his remarks as well.
“A 21st century economy is going to need a diverse array of energy and natural resources. Not only are oil, gas, steel and coal necessary inputs to the supply chain for the components of wind and solar arrays, the plastics that will be developed from the polyethylene derived from local shale gas can be used in medical devices, electronics and automotive parts. Given that Pittsburgh has established itself as a leader in health care, technology and transportation innovation, it is imperative these industries partner with continued advances being led by materials sciences manufacturers, including those in the petrochemical industry. Locally produced shale gas can also be used as a clean burning and reliable source of heat and electricity for hospitals, data centers and college campuses. Also, it should be noted that through competitive markets and cleaner burning fuel, Pennsylvania businesses have significantly reduced CO2 emissions in not only just the southwestern Pennsylvania region, but in the entire Commonwealth. Federally regulated air emissions have fallen statewide by more than 90 percent since 1990, according to state and federal data.
“Further, the Mayor is also hopefully aware that manufacturing activity and employment has ticked downward in the Pittsburgh region recently, and overall unemployment in southwestern Pennsylvania has gone up. Perhaps these economic indicators should persuade him to change course and instead pursue policies – and rhetoric – that encourages growth for the region and for the better of workers and job creators.”
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its statewide membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.