Nothing gets done without energy. From powering computers, credit card machines, or heavy manufacturing machinery to providing the electricity needed for heat, air conditioning, or lighting, to creating buildings, furniture, and office supplies to fueling trucks to deliver, energy is the common denominator that sets our world in motion. 

There is a reason we call staying in business “keeping the lights on.” Energy is the cost of doing business, and for small businesses – many operating on thin profit margins – every penny counts.

During the pandemic, small businesses across the country were devastated, especially in the early months when changing mitigation orders forced many job creators to close their doors for an extended period, leading to serious workforce challenges. As we continue to recover from that challenging time, small businesses need affordable and reliable energy to rebuild and thrive.  

Here in Pennsylvania, we are uniquely situated to be the solution to powering our lives and livelihoods affordably, effectively, and efficiently. Thanks to the Commonwealth’s prolific natural gas reserves, Pennsylvania is now one of the leading natural gas-producing states in the country – second only to Texas. Natural gas has bolstered the state’s diverse energy portfolio. As natural gas exploration and extraction has grown, Pennsylvania residents and businesses have benefited through lower energy costs and increased economic activity.

By breathing new life into once economically stagnant communities, the industry supported a boon of downstream opportunities and helped to grow cottage industries. Niche markets and businesses have developed to help support the industry. Additionally, there has been a positive impact on ancillary businesses. In new drilling areas, restaurants, hotels, and mom-and-pop shops have seen increased activity and a boost in sales. And within this bustle, increase in natural gas use has also been environmentally beneficial by significantly lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

In February, I had the opportunity to testify before the House Majority Policy Committee about the need for affordable, reliable energy for small businesses. As I noted in my written testimony, energy companies will not invest if they are met with hostile rhetoric and policies from our lawmakers

Unfortunately, there continues to be a vocal group of elected officials on a mission to essentially shut down natural gas production in our state – driving away jobs, economic opportunity, and low energy prices and putting our state’s position as an energy leader at risk. The small business community is not advocating for government oversight and regulation to go away. There is a need for a reasonable regulatory environment. However, balance is necessary. Lawmakers should work to streamline the process to remove unnecessary burdens and duplicative requirements and paperwork on job creators.

It is not an “either/or” conversation when discussing environmental concerns and energy needs. We can have a competitive energy climate with fair and sensible regulations.   

We have the opportunity for a renaissance of American manufacturing, bringing businesses and manufacturing back to the nation and the Commonwealth. But to do so, we need smart policies that encourage growth and promote competition. The solution starts here.

Greg Moreland is the state director of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) in Pennsylvania, a non-profit, non-partisan, organization representing 13,000 small businesses throughout the Commonwealth.

3 thoughts on “Greg Moreland: Pennsylvania can be a leader in natural gas production”

  1. Comment to Cicero. I prefer not to freeze to death in the winter. I don’t know how all people heat their homes, cook their meals and heat bath water, but I am too old to cut firewood, so that I can stoke my wood cookstove, heat water for my Saturday bath and huddle for warmth. My grandfather grew up in a frame 4 square company house, where the only heat was the kitchen stove (by the way, a coal burner) with the upstairs bedrooms not heated. He related to me how they slept under heavy quilts and would at times wake up with a dusting of snow on the quilts. All winter the water in the wash basin would be frozen solid, so had to go downstairs to wait until the stove could melt the ice to wash their faces. I don’t know if corporate CEOs are getting rich or not, but my water is hot, my house is heated without stoking a stove and I don’t have snow on my quilt.

  2. Good article with two exceptions:

    We are now learning the “pandemic” was actually a military operation, orchestrated via the DOD by the globalist elite class against average folks. There was no “pandemic” threat. The destruction wrought by this evil scheme will never be fully known

    And two, there is no “climate emergency”. This is the latest and oldest trick in the globalist elite bag of tricks, ultimately designed to transfer ever more power and $$$ into their pockets. And nobody with influence calls it out. Inflation is almost entirely a result of big guv squeezing the energy markets into less & less production, driving up the cost of energy and making everything more expensive. From the politicians who supposedly represent us, the little people, silence.

    Another very destructive scam. They just finished running the “pandemic” on us, and without batting an eye move onto the “climate” scheme. The only ones who suffer are those least able to afford it.

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