Members of boards of county commissioners from Washington, Beaver and Butler counties have written this week to presidential candidates of both major parties expressing their support for the natural gas and oil industry.
In a letter dated Oct. 6, Washington County Commission Chairman Diana Irey Vaughan, Vice Chairman Larry Maggi and Commissioner Nick Sherman joined with their counterparts to the north in telling President Donald J. Trump and former vice president Joseph R. Biden:
“For more than a decade, a revitalized natural gas and oil industry centered around the shale running deep below Western Pennsylvania has generated the type of business investments we needed to reinvigorate our Main Streets – many of which had suffered since the collapse of steel and manufacturing sectors with a history dating to the days of Drake, Carnegie, Frick and Westinghouse.
“It’s brought more family-sustaining local jobs and tax revenue to communities across the Commonwealth. Trade unions facing the prospect of their halls being emptied by demand for skilled labor have built modern training centers to supply a new generation of workers.
“Good-paying jobs aren’t a partisan issue. They’re something we all support.”
The nine commissioners of both major parties noted lower energy bills are good for both Democrats and Republicans, cited environmental programs, trails and conservation projects across all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties, and wrote, “We all want a healthier environment, regardless of party registration….
“We also know that these benefits can evaporate when leaders enact misguided policies that conflict with our shared values.”
The commissioners asked that during the presidential election year that the candidates not lose sight of “broad, bipartisan support we have here for domestic energy production, the life-changing benefits it’s brought to our communities, and the bright future we’ve charted through policies aimed at attracting more investment.”
Irey Vaughan and Sherman are Republicans, and Maggi is a Democrat.
The 14-paragraph letter was sent to Trump at the White House address of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the nation’s capital and to the Biden presidential campaign based in Philadelphia.