This week business leaders and local politicians gathered at Drexel University to talk about exporting Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale gas from the Port of Philadelphia. It’s just one idea inside of a larger vision to turn Philadelphia into an “energy hub,” something that keeps coming up in the city’s Democratic mayoral primary race.
Here’s what the energy hub aims to do in a nut shell. Take advantage of all that abundant Marcellus Shale gas flowing out of wells in the northeast and southwest parts of the state, places like Susquehanna County upstate or Washington County out near Pittsburgh. Send all that gas to Philadelphia, instead of spreading it out to places like New York or Canada, or the Gulf Coast. And once all those billions of molecules of gas get to Philly, turn them into trillions of dollars. Use that cheap gas to power new factories, turn that cheap gas into plastics, or liquefy it and sell it abroad for lots of money. And yes, create good jobs. But not everyone is on board. Environmentalists worry about air quality, and generating even more reliance on fossil fuels.
Click on audio above to hear how the energy hub is playing in the mayor’s race. Read a longer version of this story on StateImpact Pennsylvania.