Consumer Group Brings Together Political, Business, Labor and Thought Leaders to Discuss Working Together to Advance Responsible Energy Production in Region

Pittsburgh, PA —Today, Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) held its Pennsylvania Energy and Manufacturing Summit with a number of key political, business and labor leaders in an intriguing discussion and debate over best ways to move forward with energy production in the Marcellus formation and across the United States. High-level officials included Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and Romney campaign surrogate, Michael Krancer, former DEP Secretary and Obama campaign surrogate, John Hanger, as well as U.S. Representatives Mark Critz (D-PA-12) and Tim Murphy (R-PA-18), Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald (D) and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl (D).

Both Michael Krancer and John Hanger, representing the Romney and Obama campaigns respectively, laid out competing visions for the future of American energy.

On behalf of the Obama campaign, John Hanger reiterated that the Administration had “taken an all-of-the-above approach by developing many of America’s energy resources.” According to Hanger, the President’s investment in energy projects has created thousands of jobs, and his plan “pledges to cut net oil imports in half by 2020 and supports 600,000 new natural gas jobs by the end of the decade.”

On the other hand, Romney surrogate and current Pennsylvania DEP Secretary, Michael Krancer, discussed the region’s new energy future. “Imagine the power of freedom unleashed, of economic security unleashed, economic freedom, capability, ingenuity unleashing a new energy super economy, a new energy super power with abundant, domestic, clean, cheap energy, with super growth of jobs here in America,” said Krancer. “We stand right now on that threshold – the decisions we make right now are going to be the key for generations to come.”

“Policy and politics intersect,” said Mike Mikus, Director of CEA Mid-Atlantic, in his remarks introducing the Summit. “What we are trying to do here is to break through the politics and focus on the policy—what really impacts average Pennsylvanians and all Americans. The way we believe we can educate people is to bring new voices into this debate—to make sure stakeholders understand the real issues, and have a rational discussion in a forum like this one today.”

Referencing the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks, Pennsylvania Congressman Tim Murphy also reminded the audience, “We are sending men and women overseas to fight for member countries of OPEC [Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries] to gain access to their oil, putting kids in harm’s way while we could be achieving the same goals at home. This is the time that we look to the skills and the strengths that America has here at home,” said Murphy. “And it is time to build those resources and build back America here at home.”

Both Murphy and Congressman Mark Critz agreed upon the importance of the natural gas industry to the future of the economies of Pennsylvania, Western Ohio and Northern West Virginia, and the enormous employment opportunities that have already developed. Critz called the shale revolution “an incredible opportunity that we have not seen in a century—it is beyond belief.”

According to Andrew Browning, Executive Vice President of CEA, the success of the Pittsburgh Summit this year will surely lead to several more events of this nature. “We thank everyone who took the time to participate and hope we can keep this topic at the forefront of the political discussion as we approach November. Now more than ever before, this issue is critical to the future of the United States and we look forward to advancing our goals to improve energy independence and diversity—creating jobs and increasing American competitiveness along the way.”