Pennsylvania representative urges Wolf to leverage state energy against Russian interests | News

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Pennsylvania House Energy Committee Chairman Urges Gov. Tom Wolf to Ban Russian Power Imports and End Opposition to Pennsylvania Natural Gas Production and Export and “other abundant fossil fuels”.

Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, chairman of the House Majority Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, sent a letter to Wolf demanding that his administration “do everything in their power to support the growth and proliferation of natural gas and Pennsylvania energy to the free world.”

As Russia hammers its understaffed neighbor Ukraine in a widely condemned invasion, causing instability in global energy markets, Metcalfe said Pennsylvania “has never been in a better position. to supply gas, oil and coal to the world.

“The Commonwealth has a natural abundance of oil, gas and coal that can heat homes, generate raw materials for manufacturing and power democracies everywhere,” the letter states.

Instead, Metcalfe said the state is “hampered” by regulations, bans, time-consuming permits, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and other taxes, while Wolf supports ways energy that cannot meet current needs.

“We must, by voice and action, develop the energy resources available to us and encourage their use by all who share our values ​​and need our energy to carry and sustain them into a free and prosperous future,” says the letter.

The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will stop selling liquor produced in Russia, a move Metcalfe welcomed.

“But in reality, the economic and social impact of such an action is a sweet show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and essentially powerless against the Russian government,” he said.

Metcalfe said Pennsylvania’s shallow oil and gas wells fueled the allies in the World Wars and the state should use advanced production methods and technologies to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) and other resources to Europe and the world. Instead, he said, Russian LNG carriers enter US ports and allied ports.

He urged Wolfe to pressure New York and New Jersey to end their states’ policies prohibiting the construction of new gas pipelines, while calling for an end to the moratorium on natural gas development in the basin. the Delaware River.

Rep. Mike Armanini, a Republican whose district includes Elk County and part of Clearfield County, and Rep. Kathy Rapp, R-Warren, signed the letter.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity is disposing of $2.9 million in Russian holdings in Commonwealth investment accounts and is encouraging state pension systems to follow suit.

PennLive reported that, in a show of support for Ukraine as it fights Russia to preserve its independence, Garrity completed disposing of $2.7 million she had invested in 28 Russian companies on Monday.

Garrity is moving the rest as soon as possible, she said. In total, this represents a fraction of 1% of the nearly $40 billion that the Treasury manages directly.

Additionally, Garrity, along with some state lawmakers, is calling for the divestiture of all state investments in Russian assets, including the multimillion-dollar Russian government bonds that the most recent reports of the two state pension systems have revealed.

Chris Santa Maria, chairman of the board of trustees who heads the Pennsylvania Schools Employee Retirement System, said last week that the retirement system had less than $300 million directly invested in Russian and Belarusian interests, which which represents a fraction of 1% of its $72.5 billion in total assets. .

He said the council was closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and planned to discuss PSERS assets at its next council meeting on March 11.

House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff of R-Center County is planning legislation requiring the divestiture of all Commonwealth assets linked to the Russian government and its supporters, including those of pension funds. Sen. Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia, has also proposed similar legislation.

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