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I’d like to wish you and your loved ones a Happy and Joyous Easter!
Tour of natural gas facilities in western Pennsylvania
At the request of Senator Camera Bartolotta (R- Beaver/Greene/Washington), the Senate Majority Policy Committee toured Range Resources and MarkWest Energy Partners in Canonsburg on Tuesday.
Range Resources is an independent natural gas company operating in the United States and MarkWest Energy Partners is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MPLX which focuses on the gathering, processing and transportation of natural gas.
During the Policy Committee’s tour of the operations of Range Resources and MarkWest Energy Partners, we were able to witness firsthand how natural gas is produced, how the process works for separating the gas from the natural gas liquids and how it is then transported to markets across Pennsylvania and throughout the United States.
The tour provided us with an opportunity to see the impact of natural gas production in Pennsylvania, which is currently ranked second in the country (right behind Texas).
The main point of the tour: We saw, firsthand, some of the many good-paying jobs this new industry is bringing to Pennsylvania, as well as the millions of dollars of tax revenues paid by this industry. We need to be sure that this industry pays its fair share of taxes and protects the safety of local communities and our environment. We must be very careful, however: If our state regulatory bureaucracy and our elected officials continue to place additional costs and delays upon this industry, we will continue to see the growth of this industry in West Virginia and Ohio, rather than here in our state.
Chamber Coffee Talk event
On Wednesday morning, I joined Representatives Goodman, Knowles and Tobash for the Schuylkill Chamber of Commerce’s Coffee Talk event held at The Lodge at Sharp Mountain in Pottsville. A similar event is planned for Berks County in the near future.
This event provided a good opportunity for local business leaders to ask us about key issues in Harrisburg and where we are headed in terms of tackling various state-related issues.
Some of the legislative items that were discussed included: the state budget for Fiscal Year 2017-18; school property tax elimination; pension reform; minimum wage; severance tax on the natural gas industry; and State Police coverage.
One thing is clear: the legislature is certainly going to be busy!
Read more about the event here.
Local firefighters to build new multi-purpose live-fire practice building
On Wednesday afternoon, I attended the Schuylkill County Firefighters Association groundbreaking ceremony for their new multi-purpose live-fire practice facility at the Schuylkill County Fire Training Center in Frackville.
This new building is vital to our communities and our volunteer firefighters who selflessly dedicate their time and energy to protect citizens from harm. The building will allow our firefighters to improve and enhance their training capabilities in order to reduce the number of fatalities and injuries of their fellow firefighters and citizens, as well as decrease the number of damaged properties caused by fires.
The development of this building was not an overnight task. This initiative required the efforts of several individuals and groups in the community – from the fundraising efforts of our firefighters to the committed work of our Schuylkill County Commissioners. From a legislative position, I worked with our local State Representatives to reform state law to aid our Commissioners.
I want to thank all those involved in making the establishment of this building a reality and I look forward to the advancements that will be made by this firefighting community!
Read more about the ceremony from the Republican Herald here.
PPL’s Business Energy Efficiency Expo
PPL Electric Utilities will be hosting a lunch event to discuss energy efficiency rebates for businesses on Wednesday, April 26.
During this event, PPL will discuss savings opportunities for businesses. Attendees will also have the opportunity to chat with local distributors and contractors, get to know their PPL Business Account Team, as well as hear about how other businesses have saved energy and money.
The event will be held at Capriotti’s Palazzo located at 1 Banks Ave. in McAdoo, from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.
To register for this lunch event, please click here.
The Senate is scheduled to convene on Tuesday, April 18 at 1 p.m. You can watch session live and view the voting calendar on my website.