The Daily Times
Delco chamber helps create Marcellus Shale coalition
By Kathleen E. Carey,Posted: 06/17/15, 11:50 PM EDT
SPRINGFIELD >> The president of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce has joined forces with other chamber and union members to create a coalition that will advocate to advance the economic benefits of the Marcellus Shale.
The Delco Chamber, along with the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66 and Laborers International Union of North America, have formed the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance.
“We are just the founding members and we will grow on that,” said Trish McFarland, president of the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. “Right now, we are growing. We know people are going to want to be a part of this.”
McFarland pointed to a 15 percent increase in full-time employment and $400 million that Monroe Energy invested in the Trainer refinery since it reopened the facility in 2012 to help abate some of the fuel costs of its parent company, Delta Air Lines.
Although that focused more on petroleum refinement, the Monroe Energy example showed the potential Pennsylvania has.
“Our region has an exceptional opportunity with new pipeline projects to invest in our long-term future,” she said.
Among those projects include the Sunoco Logistics’ Mariner East projects connecting western Pennsylvania’s natural liquid gases to the port here in Delaware County for distribution globally.
James T. Kunz, business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 66 in the western part of the state, spoke to the jobs related to the energy industry.
“Pennsylvania’s natural resources give us a competitive edge in the new energy economy and deliver broad benefits for our communities,” he said. “Local skilled workers are excited to go to work every day to build these projects safely and efficiently.”
Although McFarland said the coalition doesn’t intend to lobby jointly as an organization, such as taking a position on the governor’s tax proposal, she said they want to bring awareness of the short and long term benefits the energy industry can have here.
“Our core mission is to support the investments to modernize the energy infrastructure,” she said. “We’re hoping this infrastructure builds on what we’re already doing in Delaware County.”