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Don’t jeopardize American energy independence

American energy independence was the topic of a recent webinar in which U.S. Rep. Fred Keller, R-Kreamer, and House Whip Stephen Scalise, R-Louisiana, spoke with George Stark, executive director of public relations for Cabot Oil and Gas.

Among the topics was the benefits of maintaining domestic oil companies, something we support.

We have witnessed firsthand the benefits of the natural gas industry here in our region and in Pennsylvania in general.

This industry has provided good-paying jobs and produced lower energy costs with the advent of drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale.

Keller’s office provided statistics that show 300,000 jobs in the state’s energy sector, which pays more than $23 billion in wages and contributes $45 billion to the state’s economy.

What’s more, it has saved the average household $1,100 in energy costs.

None of these statistics should be taken for granted.

The ability to extract natural gas from shale in American land has vastly reduced our dependence on foreign energy sources.

American standards, modern technology and the watchful eye of environmental agencies have ensured a safer and cleaner energy industry.

On the other hand, we believe government intrusion that shuts down operations does more harm than good. We were disheartened when President Joe Biden halted construction of the Keystone pipeline and other actions since he has been in office that have taken aim at the livelihood of industry workers.

Sure, we believe there is room to invest in the development of other energy sources. Harness the sun and the wind, build energy generators as part of a bigger portfolio, but don’t stop the momentum of what has been built this century as we’ve marched toward energy independence.

Don’t put us in a situation such as that experienced this past winter in Texas. And don’t take us back to a time of long lines for expensive gas.

It would be shameful for us to find ourselves under the thumb of other nations for resources that we have the ability of producing ourselves.

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