Coterra welcomed gubernatorial candidate Lou Barletta, former US Congressman and mayor of Hazleton to NEPA (Northeast Pennsylvania) last week. Lou was the first candidate to accept our offer of touring our community and getting a sense of our operations. Lou was eager to see the new campus of Lackawanna College’s School of Petroleum & Natural Gas, and even had the chance to talk with four students about their studies. The students quickly expressed their interest in an energy industry career and shared where they interned this past summer.
Lou touted the School of PNG as the future of the industry. “We need workforce development, because we need to have the workers here,” he stated. With the location of this state-of-the-art school in Pennsylvania, he added, “We will be able to attract industry and manufacturing.” We want to see Pennsylvania become a home to manufacturers and low energy costs and by having facilities like the School of PNG, we’re close to achieving that.
Inside the new campus, Lou saw firsthand the technology and equipment the school offers its students. After his walkthrough at School of PNG, he visited Coterra’s Kropa production site. Susquehanna County is one of the most prolific natural gas producing counties in the U.S., and this site visit gave Lou the opportunity to fully appreciate how that came to be. He stated how he would work to harness the power of this phenomenal resource and utilize it as an economy-enhancing tool. Lou shared that, “Promoting Pennsylvania energy will be one of my biggest priorities as governor. We’re going to be ready to turn on our energy agenda on Day 1.”
During our discussions on energy, we asked Lou what he feels has stood in the way of delivery natural gas from the shale fields to market, and he was unwavering in his opinion that state agencies like the Department of Environmental Protection are the biggest obstacles. “DEP has been used as a weapon to stop this industry, and we’re going to stop that,” he stated.
After the field site tour, Lou met with local business leaders to talk about post-pandemic recovery. He shared how he wants less red tape and bureaucracy, and ultimately, he wants government to get out of the way. Matt Austin, President at Austin-Corps hosted the business leaders at his office. “Having Lou out here to learn more about the roadblocks our small businesses face in Pennsylvania today, gives us hope that we can get back to growing the state’s economy, not to keep finding ways to slow it down. Lou is ready to get Pennsylvania back to work, and we’re ready too!”
Our goal with these energy conversations is to promote the opportunities of NEPA to all candidates running for governor and U.S. Senate. The region is full of natural gas and people who are dedicated to ensuring that it creates economic benefits to our state and the country. Next week, we’ll highlight our visit with gubernatorial candidate Guy Ciarrocchi.
For more details and a look into Lou’s visit, click here.