Western Pennsylvania’s energy workers hoped to communicate with the Democrat presidential candidates. The workers wanted the chance to defend the way they make their living. Their intention was to open a line of communication before the candidates decided to go to war against shale.
The Dems are not listening
That opportunity slipped away. Elizabeth Warren has joined Bernie Sanders in calling for a total fracking ban. Warren tweeted, “On my first day as president, I will sign an executive order that puts a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases for drilling offshore and on public lands. And I will ban fracking — everywhere…” We can look for the rest of the Democratic hopefuls will follow suit Warren and Sanders.
A representative for the energy workers said, “It is disappointing that any national candidate would not come in here and want to talk to the men and women of this area first before unilaterally making that decision… The natural gas industry employs well over 40,000 people just in this region alone… Countless more indirectly, providing economic opportunity for generations of families and communities that had been hollowed out by the demise of manufacturing and coal in this area.”
You cannot win a debate you do not participate in
Kelly doesn’t think he is entitled to the presidential candidates’ time. He knows what happens when the Western Pennsylvania energy labor force does not support the Democratic nominee. “You cannot win the presidency if you are a Democrat without Pennsylvania,” Brauer said bluntly.
Democrats have won Pennsylvania in past presidential years. That result rests on outsized margins in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and their suburbs. That support has been declining since Bill Clinton won 28 of the state’s 67 counties in 1996. Barack Obama won 13 of the 67 counties in 2012.
Trump’s magic came in rural and post-industrial counties such as Luzerne and Erie. But, most importantly, the unexpected result came from winning the populous counties around Pittsburgh. It is there where shale is king. Fracking is seen as the second coming of the steel industry.
Been there, done that, we know which way is better
These construction cranes may look like equipment to someone unfamiliar with the history of this region. But to natives they look like something different. Each of these cranes looks like a phoenix rising from the ashes of yesterday’s despair. The people of western Pennsylvania understand it is better to have a choice to work or not to work than to need to work and have no choice.
Building the cracker plant has brought in 6,000 good-paying jobs. There are more to come. Ultimately, there will be 600 permanent jobs at the plant. Industry analysts predict triple that amount in supporting industries. That is a huge shot in the economic arm of the area.
Jobs, jobs, jobs, everywhere
Jobs postings are everywhere. They tout opportunities, regardless of skill level, education, trade school certificate, chemists, engineers, information technology, and labor. If you reliably turn up for work, there is likely a career for you in the oil and gas industry.
Kelly said, “And if you think our workers don’t care for the environment or climate change you are wrong… They are the ones not only working in the industry, but they live here, play here, raise their kids here, hunt, fish, boat, ski, swim, and hike. They want to be in a responsible industry. ”
Politically correct has more than one meaning
The Democrats continue to make these anti-fracking arguments. They push issues which are going to hurt the economy. When they insist on harming these key states, it plays right into Trump’s narrative. Trump can argue persuasively this is part of the cycle and what’s going to happen.
Would you rather have me, who’s going to have fewer regulations and not wipe out entire industries? Do we benefit by trying to build back the manufacturing base? Should we try to get jobs to come back in the United States? Or… would you rather a Democrat who is so far to the Left, who’s willing to get rid of entire industries?
Do you want to lose what you have because of environmental concerns? We know those concerns can be addressed, without destroying the whole industry. The decision is not going to be a hard one for most Western Pennsylvanians. If the decision comes down to work or not to work because there is no opportunity which way will you vote?