Comments before the:
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION
PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC
Docket No. CP15-558-000
PENNEAST PIPELINE PROJECT
August 17, 2016
Best Western Genetti Hotel & Conference Center
77 East Market Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701
CARL A. MARRARA
Vice President, Government Affairs
Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association
My name is Carl Marrara and I am the Vice President of Government Affairs for the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association. We are the statewide, nonprofit trade organization that represents the people who make things here in our commonwealth; generating over $79 billion annually in state gross product, employing 575,000 hardworking Pennsylvanians on the plant floor, and supporting supply, distribution, and retail networks that sustain millions of additional Pennsylvania jobs. I am honored to be here today, commenting before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to express our support for the PennEast Pipeline Project, docket number CP15-588-000.
Manufacturers in particular depend on the affordable dry and liquid gas to remain globally competitive. Under current market constrictions, when there is a high demand for gas the priority is given to residential and institutional markets – leaving industry to find alternative fuel sources that are often much more expensive and less environmentally sound. Total natural gas demand is poised to increase by 40 percent over the next decade and researchers at the National Association of Manufacturers found the key drivers of this demand will be manufacturing and power generation. Therefore, projects such as the PennEast Pipeline Project are so vitally important to the Commonwealth’s manufacturing sector.
Affordable gas is simply not getting to market because Pennsylvania lacks a sufficient pipeline network. According to the Marcellus Shale Coalition (MSC), of the 9048 wells in Pennsylvania that reported to the Department of Environmental Protection as of last December, 6618 are producing gas. That leaves 2430 that are in some in-between status: not completed, shut in, and inactive over the past year. Specifically, there are 562 wells inactive and 806 listed as “drilling not completed”, while 997 are shut-in. It has been estimated that approximately 25-30% of the Marcellus wells drilled to date still do not have pipeline takeaway capacity. Projects such as the PennEast Pipeline open and expand markets, sustaining and stabilizing the energy industry.
The PennEast Pipeline is estimated to generate $1.62 billion in total economic impact during the construction phase alone, supporting about 12,160 jobs and an associated $740 million in wages. Most importantly, the economic impact of this project will have lasting results, far beyond the construction of the pipeline in the manufacturing sector. According to a recent study by the National Association of Manufacturers and IHS Economics:
“The improved competitive positioning of industries in the manufacturing sector is shaping state and local economic development strategies across the country. Increased supplies of natural gas, especially at lower delivered prices, enhances the competitiveness of economies by making them more attractive to manufacturing activities that are large, and intensive users of natural gas such as chemicals, food, paper, and metals. The close proximity of existing clusters of manufacturing establishments to increased natural gas supplies can generate new pipeline-related economic development, often because of the availability of direct connections to a new or expanded gas pipeline… Expansions of natural gas pipeline capacity are also needed to enable the construction of new electric generating plants. In addition to providing key inputs for the construction of pipelines, the manufacturing sector will also benefit economically from the capital expenditures for new electric generating plants and for facilities used to process and store natural gas liquids. In a nutshell, the combination of increased access to shale gas and the transmission lines that move that affordable energy to manufacturers across America meant 1.9 million jobs in 2015 alone.”
This studied and proven economic boon can and will come to this area of Northeast Pennsylvania with the approval and construction of the PennEast Pipeline – connecting those that need this vital commodity with the abundant supply just north of where we are today.
This area of Pennsylvania knows energy independence – it always has through timber and coal - and now we have the opportunity to strengthen America’s energy leadership again through abundant, efficient, and clean burning natural gas. Pennsylvania’s natural gas revolution is giving our manufacturers new momentum with abundant cost-competitive energy. But to fully realize the potential of shale gas, Pennsylvania needs robust infrastructure for transmission. That is why we support the PennEast Pipeline and we hope you will too.