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District Office
70 Lancaster Avenue, Suite B 
Malvern, PA 19355
Phone:  610-251-1070
Fax:  610-251-1074
Hours: M-F, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
A free notary is available Monday through Friday by appointment.

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Hon. Duane Milne
150-A East Wing
PO Box 202167
Harrisburg PA 17120-2167
Phone:  (717) 787-8579
Fax:  (717) 787-1295

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American Petroleum Institute postcard received?
5/24/2017
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Backstory: American Petroleum Institute postcard

During this spring season, many of you have received postcards; some from family and friends…and some from the American Petroleum Institute (API), like this:

 

While you certainly understand why you have received postcards from your loved ones’ vacations, many have inquired why they are the recipient of these mailers from API. This organization is a trade association (aka interest group in part) that advocates for the oil and natural gas industry.

The “inside baseball” story here is that these communications are hitting at economic competition between the natural gas sector and the nuclear energy sector, and to actions each would like government to take or not. Relatedly, more broadly, this concerns the future of energy policy, and where and how Pennsylvania (and the nation for the matter) will attain power needed to meet energy demands and consumption.
                                    
Generally speaking, coal as an energy source has significantly declined and will continue to do so. That raises the question of what resource will take its place, even more so as time moves on. Two of those options are natural gas and nuclear (leaving aside other scenarios for purposes of explaining this particular postcard).
                                   
Natural gas is competing very well in the marketplace, in large part because of how inexpensive natural gas is at present. Moreover, prices are projected to remain quite competitive for some number of years, at a minimum.

At the same time, concerns are mounting over the continued viability of the nuclear energy industry in Pennsylvania, the aging of our state’s nuclear plants (which are rather advanced in service years compared to the new plants in a number of other states); all of this portends implications for sustaining future reliability of the grid that takes the power generated from these sources (natural gas facilities or nuclear plants) and ultimately delivers electricity to homes and businesses.

From its perspective, then, the nuclear sector is pushing for government support in some form to subsidize its relatively declining competitiveness vis-à-vis natural gas (and some other sources). The proposition of assistance is essentially “conceptual” currently, as no particular legislative bills have been developed and, therefore, no specific proposals are even being debated in the Legislature.

As an overall statement about my perspective, I generally favor limited government interference in free market capitalism. Direct subsidies of economic sectors are not policy approaches I prioritize. Plus, I do not believe it the proper role of government to afford artificial advantages to one economic sector over another; government should not be unduly involved in picking “winners and losers’ in free market capitalism.
                                   
As all energy issues are considered in the Legislature, my ongoing focus will continue to be one of looking out for what is best for consumers in order to hold energy prices low, keep environmental safeguards in place and uphold public safety standards.

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Office Locations
70 Lancaster Avenue, Suite B, Malvern, PA 19355 | Phone: 610-251-1070
150-A East Wing, PO Box 202167, Harrisburg PA 17120-2167 | Phone: (717) 787-8579
Email: dmilne@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614 
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