NEW ALEXANDRIA- During a House Majority Policy Committee hearing co-hosted by Rep. Eric Nelson (R-Westmoreland) and chairman Martin Causer (R-Cameron/McKean/Potter) today, testimony was received from industry and trade professionals that demonstrates how new energy technology can lead to economic opportunity and job growth in southwestern PA.
“Pennsylvania is an energy powerhouse. We are America’s largest net exporter of electricity and second largest producer of natural gas,” Nelson said. “This is our time to once again lead the nation in hydrogen development and secure the thousands of construction and manufacturing jobs coming with this new technology.”
Using natural gas to create hydrogen, which would be applied in energy-intense manufacturing operations, creates a low carbon process to manufacture steel and plastic. This is because hydrogen burns hotter than other sources. Testifiers also explained that hydrogen burns cleaner and will reduce Pennsylvania’s carbon emissions.
“With an abundance of low carbon gas, a robust industrial sector and a skilled workforce, the tri-state region boasts the optimal location for a potential hydrogen hub,” said Chris Masciantonio, United States Steel Corporation’s director of government affairs.
Hydrogen-produced plastic was also discussed during the hearing, including Shell’s Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex that is nearing completion in Beaver County. The new plant will produce ethane “crackers” to be used in the production of plastics for items such as food packaging and automotive parts. The plant can use hydrogen as a heat source.
“Using hydrogen in steel and plastic production will not only expand jobs but also pave the way for downstream industries because those raw products will be ready for additional manufacturing,” said Nelson. “This kind of growth will translate to a surge in family-sustaining jobs and these are industries that will help our economy grow.”
“Energy has been a cornerstone of our state’s economy for well over a century,” Causer said. “It is always exciting to learn about new opportunities to further grow the industry and the jobs it creates here in the Commonwealth.”
The 57th Legislative District includes the following Westmoreland County communities: the city of Greensburg; the townships of Hempfield (part) and Salem; and the boroughs of Delmont, Hunker, New Stanton, South Greensburg, Southwest Greensburg and Youngwood.
For video and written testimony from the hearing, visit PAGOPPolicy.com
Representative Eric Nelson
57th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jordan Frei