SENECA – Rep. Lee James (R-Venango/Butler) issued the following statement in response to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto’s announcement of his opposition to growth of the natural gas and petrochemical industries in Western Pennsylvania:
“When Mayor Peduto voiced his opposition to the growth of energy industries in Western Pennsylvania, I was shocked and disappointed.
“These industries have contributed greatly to the Commonwealth’s economic growth, especially in our region. The Shell cracker plant brought more than 6,500 jobs to an area that was plagued with a high unemployment rate for far too long. Overall, the industries supported more than 300,000 jobs in our state since 2015.
“These are jobs that offer financial independence and the American Dream. They have helped to revitalize other industries as well, bringing a much broader economic impact. Beaver County, the home of the Shell plant, has seen incredible growth with new hotels, gas stations, restaurants, commercial buildings and even a $70 million water treatment plant paid for by Shell that also services adjacent communities.
“The area struggled since the steel industry left more than 30 years ago, but natural gas and petrochemical companies are breathing new life into the region.
“We need to welcome industries that offer Pennsylvanians family-sustaining jobs, not turn them away. My colleagues in the House, including Speaker Mike Turzai, and I will continue to support the energy economy and skilled trades, and I invite Mayor Peduto to join us.”
Representative Lee James
64th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives