Letter to the editor: Capitalizing on Pittsburgh's energy advantages

The article “Texas report: Pennsylvania 2nd only to us in natural gas production” (March 13, TribLIVE) pointed out that even though Texas is the United States’ de facto energy capital, Pennsylvania is a major player. Southwestern Pennsylvania has a legacy in energy looking back some 150 years and continues to be blessed with both ample natural and human resources in energy that address fuel and feedstock demands, in addition to contributing a diverse portfolio economy that plays to all our strengths.

The Pittsburgh region is located atop one of the world’s largest natural gas reserves, and we are investing strategically to make the most of this advantage. We have developed a robust natural gas and downstream manufacturing strategy that seeks to leverage the anchor investment made by Royal Dutch Shell and to increase our region’s overall attractiveness for other energy and energy-related manufacturing investments.

Industries in the downstream of the natural gas industry have the potential to multiply the region’s GDP, increase tax revenues and create well-paying employment opportunities. We must plan for our future now and feed momentum by attracting new businesses and improving the quality of life for everyone who lives and works here.

Working with government, private industry, labor and academia, we can develop a next-generation economy for all that builds upon its competitive assets and allows the Pittsburgh region to take its place on the global stage as an energy leader.

Matt Smith
The writer is president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce.