HARRISBURG – PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement regarding the cancellation of the PennEast project, a major regional energy infrastructure project:
“Activists are cheering upon the recent news that the sponsors of the PennEast project, a more than $1 billion investment that would have delivered Pennsylvania-produced natural gas into markets in New Jersey, have cancelled the project. Let’s be clear: this is no victory – not for ratepayers, who are now lacking a reliable source of gas and electricity; not for the economy, which is now out several thousand well-paying construction jobs at a time when the economy continues to struggle; and not for the environment, as this obstruction results in the mid-Atlantic being more reliant on imported fuels from foreign nations that do not have our strict environmental standards. It is no victory that Russian-sourced gas has been imported into Boston harbor in recent winters.
“The increased production of natural gas has directly led to substantial reductions in utility bills for businesses and working families in our state and region, as well as historic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and a significant improvement in air quality. Unfortunately, pipeline constraints due in no small part to misguided political opposition from activists have precluded neighboring states from reaping the benefits of this critical infrastructure development, despite regulated utilities in New Jersey noting to their public service commission that they may not have enough gas to meet winter demand.
“The news of this cancellation underscores the importance of state and federal policymakers taking bold strides to make it easier to build things in this country again. While many of our member companies execute sustainability strategies and are deploying significant capital into zero- and low-carbon resources, renewable energy is not a solution for many industries, and we must afford companies and consumers the option of energy choice. Our economy will not get back on its feet through heavy-handed mandates that raise energy costs and discourage innovation.”