BRADFORD COUNTY Pa. (WETM) – Pennsylvania Republican gubernatorial candidates gathered today in Bradford County, where leaders from across the state laid out their plans for energy production.
“I came all the way from Pittsburgh today because I know the use of our energy is critical, not only to Pennsylvania’s economy but to this area’s economy,” said PA GOP gubernatorial candidate Jason Richey, who said he woke up at 3:00 a.m. to get to today’s event.
Bradford County commissioners hosted the event with America’s Rural Energy Coalition, where six Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidates from around the state attended. Among those that spoke included Jason Richey, Dr. Nche Zama, Lou Barletta, and more.
These candidates came to pitch their energy production agendas to the local leaders of the Northern Tier. A rural area where some feel their voices are forgotten.
“In rural Pennsylvania, Northeast Pa. predominantly… we felt that maybe we didn’t have a good spot at the table… Yet, we have the top producers of natural gas in the nation and in the world,” said Doug McLinko, Bradford County Commissioner, and event organizer.
Pennsylvania is currently ranked among the highest states for the share of total economic contributions by the natural gas and oil industry, generating $78.4 billion.
“The energy industry in Pennsylvania is maybe the single most critical issue when it comes to the economy…What I’m looking for is to hear who has the best plan and best ideas,” said Sam Faddis, Susquehanna County resident.
64,000 Pennsylvania workers are currently employed by fossil-fuel-based industries, according to a report by the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO. These candidates say the clean energy industry is not big enough to replace these jobs.
“Windmills and solar cells, cannot at this point…run our massive industries in the state of Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Nche Zama, Pa. GOP gubernatorial candidate.
While some are saying we are amid a climate crisis, these candidates want to bring more pipelines to the state.
“What I am suggesting is Pennsylvania should up its fossil fuels and natural gas production so that the world demand for energy comes from Pennsylvania, as opposed to coming from Russia or China who doesn’t have the same environmental regulations,” said Richey.