Pittsburgh, PA – Energy Consumer advocate Consumer Energy Alliance – Mid Atlantic is asking Pennsylvania state legislators if they agree or disagree with a proposal made in June by the Pennsylvania Democratic Party to impose a ban on natural gas exploration. In a letter sent today to legislators from CEA-Mid Atlantic executive director invited legislators to share their support or opposition to the party’s proposed ban.  CEA-Mid Atlantic is tallying results on its website.  

Full Text of Letter sent to Pennsylvania Democratic legislators.

I am the executive director for Consumer Energy Alliance–Mid Atlantic. Our organization is a non-profit, non-partisan voice for the energy consumer. Our membership consists of small businesses, manufacturers, academia, conservation groups, energy companies and individual energy consumers.

Did you know the Pennsylvania Democratic Party passed a resolution in June supporting a statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing? If turned from a party plank into law the ban would cripple the fastest growing economic engine in Pennsylvania, the oil and natural gas industry.

We can both agree the natural gas industry is an economic driver for the Marcellus Shale region. In 2011, Washington County had the third highest employment surge of any county in the nation. The Aker Philadelphia shipyard is rehiring 800 workers to help build two new tankers in response to domestic oil and gas production. Even better, job growth projections in Pennsylvania over the next ten years exceed the projected national average.

The positive impact goes beyond jobs. The Pittsburgh International Airport is lowering its fees to better compete for flights because of newfound energy development revenues. Across the state, Pennsylvania businesses are more competitive since natural gas drives down their cost of operations.

Many critics are raising concerns, as they should, about safety. Here is the latest. A federal study monitoring wells in Greene County conducted by the National Energy Technology Laboratory showed no evidence of chemical contamination of local drinking water.

If you are like me, this plank of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party platform alarms you. You may even agree with most of the policies advocated by your party, but understand it is ok to disagree with a particular policy position.

Considering the merits of the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania, CEA-Mid Atlantic invites you to make your position known by selecting one of the following statements:

__ I am a proud member of the Democratic Party, but I disagree with my party’s proposal for a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

__ I support the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

As surveys are returned, CEA-Mid Atlantic will post the results on our website. However, we urge you to answer prior to the August 15, 2013 deadline.

Thank you for time and consideration. If you have additional questions or would like additional information on the Consumer Energy Alliance please feel free to reach me at mbutler@consumerenergyalliance.org or at (412) 448-6851.


Mike Butler

Consumer Energy Alliance, Mid Atlantic