Thursday, September 17, 2015

At shale conference, talk is about Philly as an energy hub

Except for a cluster of protesters outside, everybody at the Shale Insight 2015 conference at the Convention Center in Philadelphia yesterday seemed to be on board with the concept of a Philadelphia energy hub, Andrew Maykuth reports for the Philadelphia Inquirer. 
Representatives of industry, labor, and government said Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale natural gas production could represent a tremendous economic opportunity for Philadelphia at the end of the pipeline - if only there were enough pipelines.
"Despite the fact that this area of greater Philadelphia is relatively close to where that gas is being produced, there is grossly insufficient infrastructure to move that gas from the point of production to the point of consumption," said John Walsh, chief executive of UGI Corp., the Valley Forge energy company that has proposed a $1.1 billion pipeline from Pennsylvania to New Jersey.
Gov. Wolf's commerce secretary, Dennis Davin, who spoke at a separate conference session, endorsed the pipeline build-out even though Wolf's Democratic administration is under pressure from activists, including the dozen or so who marched briefly outside the Convention Center, to halt fossil-fuel development.
"Philadelphia has great energy assets, and we are committed to helping to develop those energy assets through funding and other means of support," Davin said. "We know we need to get the gas to market, and Philadelphia is one of the ways to get the gas to market."
The two-day conference, sponsored by the Marcellus Shale Coalition, featured a keynote address by former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, whose law firm represents a number of large energy companies. But much of the confab remained fixed on local topics, in line with the sponsor's aim to build support in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The two-day conference continues today. At one of the final panels, State House Speaker MIke Turzi is scheduled to provide "an insiders perspective of the current budget challenges and structural issues facing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania." 

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