The Senate Environmental and Energy Resources Committee held a hearing this week in Philadelphia on legislation authored by Rep. Martina White (R-Philadelphia) that would create a task force to study making the Port of Philadelphia an export terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG).
“I think we can all agree the war taking place between Ukraine and Russia has made everyone more aware of the need for an accessible and reliable energy source that does not put the United States at the mercy of other countries,” said White. “Pennsylvania could and should be a leader in the production and export of clean energy sources, like liquified national gas. We have an abundance under the ground that can provide the United States with energy freedom, and we have a port right here in Philadelphia that can be used to export it.”
Sen. Gene Yaw, chairman of the Senate Environmental and Energy Resources Committee said, “As long as we are going to wear clothes, as long as we are going to eat food, as long as we are going to drive cars – even electric ones – the demand for natural gas will not disappear, here or in Europe,” Yaw said. “And how blessed are we here in Pennsylvania to be one of the top producers of natural gas in the world? We should be doing more with it.”
White’s legislation, House Bill 2458
, would create a taskforce to study what obstacles are currently preventing Philadelphia from becoming a leader in exporting LNG. The taskforce would be charged with creating a report and recommendations to be presented to the General Assembly and the administration. The taskforce would be made up of people representing the General Assembly, natural gas industry, Philadelphia building trades and PhilaPort.
During the hearing today, legislative leaders heard from representatives in the energy sector, including the Marcellus Shale Coalition, the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia, Berkshire Hathaway Energy GT&S, Steamfitters Local 420, Penn LNG, EQT, the American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria, and others.
Jim Snell from Steamfitters Local 420 commented that, “The potential LNG project in Chester, Delaware County, will greatly benefit hard-working families who work in the building trades like our members of Steamfitters Local 420. Energy jobs drive the economy as well support local businesses. Our members count on growth in the energy sector for employment and our nation counts on us to help provide the energy to meet the needs of tomorrow.”
Another testifier, Ivo Konstantinov said, “Unleashing Pennsylvania’s abundant natural resources on the free energy markets of Europe, particularly the most vulnerable parts of Europe—central and eastern Europe and the Balkans—would be the best defensive weapon against tyranny and intimidation not only in eastern Europe, but worldwide.”
White concluded, “We are less than 50 miles of infrastructure away from Pennsylvania changing the world for the better. An LNG export facility here will help reduce carbon emissions globally, further U.S. energy independence, promote peace for our European allies who would no longer rely on tyrannical governments for their energy supply, create good-paying jobs and make energy cheaper for families and job creators across Pennsylvania.”
House Bill 2458 is currently before the governor. He has 10 days in which to veto or sign the bill into law. He could also let the bill become law without his signature.
Representative Martina White
170th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster