Russia’s war on Ukraine is leading to sharp gas price spikes and rising inflationary costs and the global pandemic continues to create economic uncertainty. It is indeed a tumultuous time globally, and small businesses are especially prone to the financial impacts.
The good news is that we aren’t powerless against these economic challenges. In fact, Pennsylvania’s natural assets have uniquely prepared the Commonwealth to meet the challenges we’re experiencing head-on and have presented us with unique opportunities to emerge even stronger. Pennsylvania has long been known as a robust energy provider and the natural gas boon over the last decade+ has allowed us to deliver homegrown, clean and affordable energy to businesses and homes across America. Unfortunately, a lack of pipeline infrastructure and an unwillingness up to this point from some elected officials to get those projects completed has stunted our economic growth and even led to a record high IMPORT of Russian gas to American shores. But now, the war in Eastern Europe has made it abundantly clear that we can’t purchase energy from Russia any longer. It has to come from somewhere else – and why shouldn’t it come from right here in Pennsylvania, where we have an abundance of natural resources right under our feet?
Not only is energy produced in greater quantity in Pennsylvania than most other places in the world, our diverse energy portfolio has helped ensure it’s produced cleaner than anywhere else, too. In a recent letter to the editor, PA Chamber Government Affairs Director Kevin Sunday notes that Pennsylvania’s robust and competitive power markets have resulted in the second-largest reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the power generation space among any state since 2005. In making a case for energy choice, Sunday writes that “empowering businesses and individuals to choose the energy resource that makes the best sense for them will result in faster and more cost-effective environmental progress than government mandates or energy use bans.”
These solutions will set Pennsylvania up as a 21st century global hub for energy production and distribution, making energy cleaner, reliable and affordable. On the other hand, other proposals, such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap-and-trade program that the Wolf administration has planned to enter Pennsylvania into, will allow other states to inflate the price of PA-produced energy – an irresponsible move at a volatile time. The choice is clear – a cleaner, more reliable, trusted and affordable energy strategy begins and ends here at home. Pennsylvania must collectively promote and tap into its domestic, abundant energy sources.