Moving the Route 219 project forward wasn’t easy, but doing so will vastly improve infrastructure in the region and contribute to growing Southwestern Pennsylvania’s economy. I worked with key senators to secure language in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) transportation bill that allowed toll credits to fund Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS) projects and allowed the federal cost share on ADHS projects to increase from 80% to 100%. This is a step forward for Somerset County and will help create economic growth in the region, and I’m proud to help make this project a reality today.
All blogs filed under Economy
Last week in Canonsburg, PA, 1,200 people attended an EPA public listening session on concerns associated with hydraulic fracturing during natural gas drilling. Since the U.S. Senate was in session and I was unable to attend the event, I asked a staff member from my Pittsburgh office to attend and read my statement on the EPA’s proposed study of hydraulic fracturing and potential impacts on drinking water.
Pennsylvania has a history of environmental hardships, most created in previous generations when federal regulations promoting responsible natural resource development did not exist. For example, Pennsylvania has old natural gas wells that remain uncapped and leak methane into homes. Pennsylvania has acid mine drainage that costs millions of dollars every year to remediate. There are lessons contained within these examples from which we need to learn.
Last June, I introduced the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals (FRAC) Act, because I believe if the development of the Marcellus Shale is carried out in a manner that protects the environment and human health, then it will enhance our State’s economy and increase our Nation’s energy security. The FRAC Act requires public disclosure of the chemicals used in the fracturing process and requires that hydraulic fracturing be regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act. It is my hope that the FRAC act will keep the environment and the people of Pennsylvania safe, while fully developing the great opportunity that the Marcellus Shale has to offer.
On Monday, March 22, I joined members and guests of the Rotary Club of Harrisburg to discuss a very important issue: jobs for Pennsylvanians. During the event, I spoke with many members and guests who are committed to energizing the economy in Central Pennsylvania. I also outlined some of the benefits that Pennsylvanians can expect to receive from the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (HIRE Act) that was passed by Congress and signed into law last week. This bill is the first in a planned series of bills targeted towards job creation and retention. As this work continues in Congress, I will continue to listen to workers, business leaders and economists on the best ways to move forward to create jobs and help our economy.
On Friday, January 15, I joined York’s mayor, Kim Bracey, at the Market & Penn Street Farmers’ Market to announce that York City will receive $779,200 in federal funding for the city’s two farmers’ markets. The money will be used for restoration purposes at both the Farmers’ Market and the Central Market located at Beaver and Philadelphia Streets. During my visit, I met many vendors who stressed the important role the market plays in providing fresh, affordable and in-season, locally grown produce. I even had time to pick up some ham, apples and a sandwich for lunch. I’m proud to support this type of vital economic development project; it helps to make available healthy and nutritious foods, and I feel it will have a positive impact on the community.
Continuing my discussions around the Commonwealth on jobs, on January 6th I met with local leaders in business, education and government from across Northampton County. The focus of this meeting was to discuss plans for creating jobs in the region. During the discussion, held at C.F. Martin Guitar Company in Nazareth, I heard good, common sense ideas about how we can continue to rebuild the economy and get more Pennsylvanians back to work.
Also, today I met with community leaders of the Greater Reading Chamber of Commerce and Berks Economic Partnership to hear their strategic plan for the region and discuss how we can work together to explore ideas to create jobs and drive economic development.
As I return to Washington this week, I look forward to turning those ideas into action. That is why I am proposing a job creation tax credit to help employers hire workers, put money back into local economies and spur economic growth. While we have made progress responding to the economic crisis, more needs to be done to increase job growth in the short-term and the long-term. To learn more about my proposed credit, please see my press release.