Welcome back to Broad + Liberty’s Candidate Spotlight Series! Each week, we reach out to candidates all across the Commonwealth up for election to public office — an equal number of Democrats and Republicans; incumbents and challengers. We ask one question per week about public policy pressing to you. Those answers are shared on our website every Wednesday.
If you are a PA candidate interested in participating, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s question: Pennsylvania is the #2 producer of gas and electricity in the nation, and the largest exporter of power in the country. Washington has shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline, gas and utility prices are rising, and regulators have warned about possible blackouts and having to import foreign energy. If elected, how will you balance protecting the environment and the interests of energy jobs and consumers?
Please see responses from Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial candidates here.
Broad + Liberty thanks the following candidates for their reply. Click the links below to jump to responses from your district’s candidates!
- Mehmet Oz (R), U.S. Senate
- Carrie Lewis DelRosso (R), Lieutenant Governor
- Austin Davis (D), Lieutenant Governor
- Christian Nascimento (R), U.S. House, 4th Congressional District
- David Galluch (R), U.S. House, 5th Congressional District
- Guy Ciarrocchi (R), U.S. House, 6th Congressional District
- Jessica Florio (R), State Senate, District 44
- Edward Mongelluzzo (R), State House, District 161
- Kenneth P. Rucci (R), State House, District 163
- Nichole Missino (R), State House, District 165
- Kristin Marcell (R), State House, District 178
- Ilya Breyman (D), State House, District 178
Mehmet Oz (R), Running for U.S. Senate
If elected to the United States Senate, I will fight to end Biden’s war on American energy — which would lower gas prices for consumers and benefit our environment, not hurt it. America produces energy cleaner and more efficiently than developing nations around the world. The far left’s strategy of shutting down American energy here at home has led to greater dependence on foreign energy from our adversaries, including Russia, Iran, and Venezuela. This is a losing strategy for American consumers, businesses, and our environment.
Unfortunately, my opponent, John Fetterman, wants to double down on these failed policies. He has gone as far as backing the Green New Deal and calling fracking a “stain” on Pennsylvania. If Fetterman had his way, our energy industry would be gone in Pennsylvania.
We have enough energy right beneath our feet to lower energy prices and power our country for generations. That is why I have called for an Operation Warp Speed for American energy production, which includes fast-tracking completion of pipelines and encouraging the expansion of our natural gas infrastructure. We also need to ensure woke and misguided agendas do not get in the way of free-market funding of energy projects and exploration.
Together, we can unleash America’s energy dominance, ensure Americans have access to affordable and reliable energy, grow high-paying American Jobs, and protect our environment.
Mehmet Oz’s opponent, John Fetterman, did not respond.
Carrie Lewis DelRosso (R), Running for Lieutenant Governor
Pennsylvania is one governor away from becoming an energy-producing powerhouse, allowing us to realize low energy costs, energy-sector jobs, energy independence, energy security, and a clean energy future. Democrats like Tom Wolf and Josh Shapiro will never let Pennsylvania rise to its potential, but the Mastriano administration will get our energy sector booming by eliminating job-killing and price-hiking environmental regulations, incentivizing investment in the natural gas and coal industries, and expanding exploration in the Marcellus Shale region. Our energy plan will prevent devastating utility rate increases by withdrawing Pennsylvania from Tom Wolf’s disastrous “Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.”
Pennsylvania is desperate for a Governor who will market our resource-rich commonwealth to manufacturers that will locate here and bring economic prosperity to Pennsylvania, strengthen the American supply chain, and insulate our economy from the actions of global actors. All of this can and will happen under the Mastriano-DelRosso administration, while meeting or exceeding the highest industry-leading environmental standards.
Austin Davis (D), Running for Lieutenant Governor
Josh and I both know the immense opportunity we have here in Pennsylvania to create an economy that works for everybody. We reject the false choice between keeping the jobs we have and creating new opportunities for Pennsylvanians to succeed while protecting clean air and pure water.
In my time as a State Representative, I’ve served as a member of the climate caucus — working with other state legislators to make Pennsylvania a healthier place to live, while also ensuring that we grow our economy and protect the jobs we have now. This is exactly what I will do as Lieutenant Governor, because as the son of blue-collar workers, I know the importance of supporting and creating opportunities for our working families to succeed.
In a Shapiro-Davis administration, Pennsylvania will lead on energy and the environment and will have a comprehensive plan to grow our economy, create jobs, and safeguard our Commonwealth’s natural resources.
Christian Nascimento (R), Running for U.S. House, 4th Congressional District
President Biden and Democrats in Congress wish to “flip a switch” and see the whole country move to Electric Vehicles (EVs). But what is sorely lacking is a strategic plan to accomplish that while not destroying the existing US economy.
Canceling pipelines and limiting domestic production are tactics designed to force Americans to adopt EVs. However, without an infrastructure in place to make EVs affordable, all that does is drive gas prices higher, hurting everyday Americans. This in turn leads to Joe Biden begging for oil companies and Saudi Arabia to produce more.
We can protect the environment while still looking after consumers and energy jobs.
In a recent town hall, I laid out an economic plan that includes components that would address this: increase in domestic production of energy while simultaneously increasing our investment in renewable and alternative energy sources. This would keep prices at the pump low, and help curtail the rampant inflation we are seeing today.
Additionally, an expansion of the R&D tax credit for businesses would help drive innovation and create jobs, which would assist in the development of alternative fuels.
Finally, fossil fuels, and the men and women who work the jobs they have created in Pennsylvania and throughout the US, have lifted the country and the world to unprecedented levels of prosperity. We ought not to demonize them.
Christian Nascimento’s opponent, Madeleine Dean, did not respond.
David Galluch (R), Running for U.S. House, 5th Congressional District
I often say that when it comes to energy, we need to balance the current needs and well-being of working families with a vision of a cleaner tomorrow. This means supporting our energy sector with clean, Pennsylvania natural gas, making long-term investments in nuclear power, and funding basic research that will spur alternative forms of energy to become viable at scale and economically competitive.
President Biden and this Congress have pursued a starkly different approach. They have put their vision of “reform” above the needs of consumers by handcuffing our domestic energy producers, leading to higher costs, supply crunches, and uncertain futures — both for those who work in energy and for those struggling to pay their energy bills. Furthermore, by canceling efficient drilling leases, shutting down the Keystone XL Pipeline, and importing dirtier, foreign oil and gas, they increase our dependence on producers and transporters of energy that are more expensive and worse for the environment.
The local effects of Joe Biden’s and my opponent Mary Gay Scanlon’s failings on energy are evident in their handling of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), directly affecting an independent refiner right here in Delaware County. The RFS is a federal regulation that mandates a minimum level of renewable fuel be blended with ethanol in fuels produced by American refineries. After years of being in place, bipartisan analyses have concluded the regulation has done little to promote biofuel use and has had a negligible effect on emissions. In fact, its largest impact has been squeezing refiners to the point that many have shut down, cutting our domestic refining capacity and driving up costs for consumers — not only for transportation fuels, but also for the food used for biofuels like corn, soybeans and more. Roughly 40% of corn in the US is used to make the ethanol that goes into our gas tanks. That’s corn that can’t be used in the food supply, which results in increased food costs. Not to mention that as transportation fuel becomes more expensive, everything else does as well, because the cost of delivering goods to market increases.
Monroe Energy, a refiner located in Trainer, PA, supports the employment of 9,000 people in our region, primarily concentrated in skilled labor, industry, and the building trades. Like many independent refiners, it has been at serious risk of shuttering, having paid more to comply annually with the RFS in a single year than the purchase price of the company just ten years ago.
I have lobbied the EPA and this administration on the record to change course and reform the RFS so refiners like Monroe have the certainty they need to stay open, make long-term investments that will expand refining capacity, reduce energy costs, and keep good-paying jobs here in PA-05. Monroe also wants to be a part of our cleaner energy future but cannot commit to long term investment when the future of its facility is constantly in question. My opponent Mary Gay Scanlon refuses to champion even simple changes like lowering mandated RFS volumes or reducing ethanol content that will accomplish the above goals and make life better for energy consumers and producers alike.
When it comes to energy policy, I stand where a supermajority of Americans do — in support of an “all of the above approach.” We cannot drive up costs for working families and promote ideology over the wellbeing of those faced with the choice of filling up a gas tank or buying groceries. We cannot achieve a viable low-emissions future through unrealistic reform programs that ignore resource constraints or the insufficiency of current technologies to support our energy needs. In Congress, I will promote policies that strengthen our domestic energy sector, enhance our ability to harness the resources we have more cleanly, reduce costs, and promote the incremental development of viable sources of alternative energy over time. This is the path to the affordable and sustainable future we all want.
David Galluch’s opponent, Mary Gay Scanlon, did not respond.
Guy Ciarrocchi (R), Running for U.S. House, 6th Congressional District
America must be energy independent. It is essential to our economy, our quality of life and our national security.
Those who argue that being energy independent would cause us to harm our environment are misleading us, at best. The last two years have shown us that lessening the use of American energy harms our economy, our quality of life and makes the world a more dangerous place. And we’ve become more dependent on enemies and dictators — and those nations have little concern for environmental impact.
We have the experience, technology and know-how to safely explore, transport and use our oil and gas. It is not — and never should be — an either/or question. We must, of course, use safety procedures, and smartly and prudently use our energy. There is no reason we cannot do this effectively.
Moreover, by using our own energy, we can wisely and effectively nurture greener energies from solar to hydrogen — and, perhaps, re-examine nuclear energy. We can do those things in a transition that will harm neither our economy nor national security.
The Biden administration put politics and left-wing ideology ahead of our economy, our quality of life and national security.
I want to be a leader in the incoming Republican Congress that will put the focus back on us and ensure we develop our own energy. It is imperative that we smartly and safely use our natural resources to protect our quality of life.
Guy Ciarrocchi’s opponent, Chrissy Houlahan, did not respond.
Jessica Florio (R), Running for State Senate, District 44
Pennsylvania, in addition to already being the #2 producer of gas and electricity, can expand production due to the fact that we are sitting on a wealth of natural gas. Unfortunately, Washington and Harrisburg consistently take actions that limit energy production, and in some cases punish energy companies, often in the name of environmental protection. The energy issue is not a zero-sum issue: we can absolutely have a robust and competitive energy industry, and we can absolutely protect our environment at the same time. We need to bring all stakeholders, energy industry representatives, environmental protection advocates, and community members to the table so we can better understand and respond to issues, and ensure Pennsylvania is the leader in both energy production and environmental protection.
Jessica Florio’s opponent, Katie Muth, did not respond.
Edward Mongelluzzo (R), Running for State House, District 161
I think all of us, as residents of this great state, agree it is important to both protect and create jobs AND safeguard our environment. I know that I do and that, as a state representative, it is my responsibility to contribute to plans designed to help support our population by ensuring access to critical resources like energy. It is also my responsibility to ensure citizens of Pennsylvania are able to live in a safe and healthy environment. Most importantly I know that if we work together we can make both those things a reality.
I vowed when I decided to run that I would never lie to get ahead; there are plenty of politicians who do that. The truth is I don’t have all the answers. I believe we can, and should, harness every energy resource at our disposal in an environmentally safe way that builds us toward energy independence, cleaner energy, and less expensive energy. I will consult with those smarter than me — experts in environmental protections and in energy production — to develop the manners in which we reach that goal. If we can work together to achieve these solutions, we will reach the balance between economic impact, affordable energy, and environmental protection we all desire.
Edward Mongelluzzo’s opponent, Leanne Krueger-Braneky, did not respond.
Kenneth P. Rucci (R), Running for State House, District 163
Our Commonwealth is uniquely positioned to combat many of the issues we have all had to endure because of the rising costs in fuel prices while also ensuring the environment is protected for future Pennsylvanians. It is no secret that Pennsylvania is home to a robust and historically underutilized natural gas industry that is crucial for addressing the increased prices we have seen in our utility bills and at the gas pump. If elected, I will work for sensible energy policies that would bolster the Commonwealth and make sure we are not jeopardizing the state’s most valuable resources.
Kenneth P. Rucci’s opponent, Michael Zabel, did not respond.
Nichole Missino (R), Running for State House, District 165
First, I want to say that we are already relying on imported energy.
I think the closure of the pipeline was a disastrous move.
When we look at the results of this, hundreds and hundreds of jobs projected to be lost in PA, and the cost of oil being driven up for Pennsylvanians to a point where it is likely they will have to decide between groceries and gas, what will they choose? To eat, of course — but how will they sustain all this?
Tapping into our natural energy resources right here at home has been proven safer than the environmental implications of importing oil. That is a fact. It is safer for the environment than trucks, trains, and everything used to import and deliver foreign oil. Our governor’s position in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is burdening the residents in my district and the entire state — especially seniors, who have unsustainable electric bills and a lot of pain at the pumps.
As an advocate for working families and as a small business owner myself, I see firsthand how the fees, taxes and regulations associated with not tapping into our natural energy resources have affected the supply chain system. Small businesses and residents on fixed incomes cannot afford the cost of transporting goods across the country. How does importing and transporting oil from foreign entities and out-of-state producers reduce emissions and the carbon footprint our natural resources are said to be depleting?
I am committed to working with conservative leadership toward a safe and affordable solution.
Nichole Missino’s opponent, Jennifer O’Mara, did not respond.
Kristin Marcell (R), Running for State House, District 178
Pennsylvania is blessed with abundant energy resources, a skilled workforce, world-class educational and scientific institutions and a clean, safe environment. The Keystone State is showing the rest of the country how we can achieve energy independence and reduce costs for consumers while protecting our environment and creating jobs. As a legislator, I will implement commonsense policies that harness all our resources in a manner that strikes a positive balance between energy production and environmental protection.
Ilya Breyman (D), Running for State House, District 178
We all want ourselves and our children to breathe fresh air, drink clean water, and enjoy our beautiful state’s natural wonders. In fact, in 1971, Pennsylvania voters enshrined this in our Constitution by a margin of four to one.
We also want energy security. This means not being dependent on any one type of energy source. Over the past few years, we have seen how geopolitical instability, logistical complexity, and a once-in-a-century healthcare crisis can disrupt both traditional and renewable sources of energy production. Only through diversification across multiple generation and transmission avenues can our state become not just energy independent, but resilient in the face of fast-paced global change. This resiliency is a manifestation of my belief that jobs in resource-extraction and related fields aren’t just important to the individual worker, but they provide the resources that power education, small businesses and, yes, even environmental protection in communities that otherwise wouldn’t have the funding.
If elected, I will seek this balance by assessing how any legislation or energy-related projects affect jobs, small businesses, communities, and the environment. I would advocate for using positive incentives, rather than fines and taxes, to promote environmentally-friendly business solutions. On a broader scale, whether it’s our foreign adversaries like China and Russia, large multinational corporations, or irresponsible developers in our own backyard, when bad actors pollute our water and air, they should not be able to pass the environmental cost onto our communities, our families, and our children.
As a state representative, I will work towards community-led responsible development and put strategic community needs and good jobs first.
Broad + Liberty is a nonprofit media endeavor dedicated to sharing voices and stories that are shut out of other media outlets. @BroadAndLiberty