HARRISBURG – Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman (R-Bellefonte), Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), Senator Elder Vogel (R-Beaver), Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington), Senator Pat Stefano (R-Fayette), Senator Wayne Langerholc, Jr. (R-Cambria), Senator Joe Pittman (R-Indiana) and Senator Devlin Robinson (R-Allegheny) issued the following statement in reaction to U.S. Steel’s recent announcement that it is cancelling plans for its Mon Valley Works plant:
“This announcement is yet another indictment of the Wolf Administration’s activist agenda on energy and permitting. The loss of this $1.5 billion project is a devastating blow to the economy of southwestern Pennsylvania and a slap in the face to the hardworking, blue-collar families who were counting on these jobs. It is a clear reminder that we need a commonsense, cooperative strategy on energy and the economy – not Governor Wolf’s go-it-alone approach.
“Senate Republicans have raised concerns for years about the broken permitting process in state agencies. In this case, final permits were never issued by the Department of Environmental Protection or the Allegheny County Health Department despite both entities having nearly two years to review the applications. This inaction has cost southwestern Pennsylvanians up to 1,000 immediate construction jobs and diverted billions in direct and indirect economic impacts out of Pennsylvania’s economy.
“We have witnessed firsthand what Governor Wolf and Pennsylvania Democrats have done to decimate the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania. And now we are experiencing the erosion of Pennsylvania manufacturing. No group has felt the whiplash and uncertainty of these poor public policy decisions more than our middle-class working families.
“We support the position of the Pittsburgh Regional Building Trades Council that no politician who claims to support union jobs should ever allow something like this to happen. Democrats have been using organized labor as pawns for generations, but when 1,000 union jobs are at stake, those same Democrats are nowhere to be found. We cannot expect businesses to invest here under the anti-jobs climate the governor has created. Investments and new jobs should be flowing into Pennsylvania; instead, Governor Wolf’s policies are chasing away these jobs to other states and countries.
“It is equally disappointing that Senate Democrats – including many who represent the communities impacted by this announcement – continue to march to the governor’s far-left orders instead of standing up for the people they are supposed to serve. We invite Senator Costa and our counterparts on the other side of the aisle to join us in working to retain blue-collar jobs and promote our energy industry instead of kowtowing to the governor’s demands.
“When we prioritize Green New Deal-style projects over our own homegrown resources, we play right into the hands of China and other major polluters around the world. It is far past time for Governor Wolf to stop abdicating his energy decisions to Washington elites and other blue-state governors and start working with lawmakers in his own state to repair the damage his liberal policies have created on hardworking Pennsylvania families.”