Press Releases

For Immediate Release
October 11, 2018

For more information, contact
Tricia Harris, tharris@pachamber.org | 717.720.5447

Forge The Future: Pennsylvania Business Leaders Call For A New Era Of Economic Growth

“Ideas for Action” Report Is Blueprint For Significant Jobs, Revenue Growth Via Natural Gas Demand Growth

HARRISBURG - Forge The Future, an initiative of Pennsylvania businesses across the state, today called for a new era of economic growth in Pennsylvania, releasing Ideas for Action, a report that highlights specific actions the Commonwealth can and should implement to capitalize on its world-class energy assets and grow its way to more revenue, population and job growth.

 

“Among Pennsylvania’s greatest attributes are our vast energy resources, which includes some of the largest natural gas reserves in the world,” PA Chamber President and CEO Gene Barr said. “Unfortunately, the Commonwealth’s uncompetitive tax structure and a lack of infrastructure that would get the gas to market are causing us to lose out on economic opportunities. Pennsylvanians deserve better and this report puts forth an active, strategic agenda to make energy-enabled growth a reality. It should serve as a catalyst for a much-needed statewide effort to help advance a stronger economy and ensure that Pennsylvania remains a world-class energy hub for generations to come.”

 

Business Engagement and Ideas for Action

Pennsylvania has abundant energy resources. The state boasts the third-largest natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGLs) field on the planet. Forge The Future is a project initiated by Pennsylvania businesses to unlock the economic potential of those natural gas reserves.

 

“Right now, only a fraction of Pennsylvania’s natural gas reserves have been captured. The state is currently sitting on untapped opportunities that could propel its economy and turn the Commonwealth into a leader in the 21st century global economy,” said Rob Wonderling, President and CEO, Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. “Forge The Future convened 100 business, academic and economic development leaders from across the state to identify definitive strategies for optimizing the economic opportunity at hand and generating broad-based prosperity for all Pennsylvanians.”

 

Ideas for Action identifies four primary areas for Pennsylvania initiatives:

 

  • Create Awareness and Education: A communications and education effort, involving the energy industry, the statewide business community and government leaders, must be initiated to help Pennsylvanians achieve a more thorough understanding of the historic economic growth potential afforded by our vast energy resources.

 

  • Make Energy a Priority: There are billions of dollars in economic growth, wages and investment potential in play. Pennsylvania should have a Cabinet-level energy official with a focused staff/team and the funding necessary to lead a successful energy-enabled economic development strategy.

 

  • Review/Reform Tax Policy and Incentives: Pennsylvania tax policy should be reviewed and revised in the context of our potential growth in energy and manufacturing to better maximize downstream development of industries that will use our vast natural gas and NGL resources.

 

  • Collaborate on State Workforce Development: Currently, there is an array of workforce development programs across the state, but little to no coordination. Pennsylvania should review all workforce development programs and identify opportunities for broad-based collaboration.

 

“With Pennsylvania’s established reputation for innovation in energy, manufacturing, materials science, software and automation/robotics, it can look ahead to a diversified economy,” said David N. Taylor, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association. “Pennsylvania’s vast energy resources can help our state become an epicenter of next-generation advanced manufacturing and drive significant job growth across the Commonwealth. But the window of opportunity for Pennsylvania to realize this vision is short. We must take action now.”   

 

Forge The Future

Ideas for Action is the second report published by Forge The Future. In Phase I, Chevron and Peoples Gas invested in a state-wide econometric study to establish a fact base and strategic directions for economic opportunities resulting from the state’s natural gas reserves.

 

The study revealed Pennsylvania has the potential for significant economic growth:

 

  • A $60 billion increase in Pennsylvania GDP
  • The addition of more than 100,000 jobs
  • An increase in natural gas demand of four to five trillion cubic feet
  • Several billion dollars in additional state tax revenue

 

Now that Ideas for Action has been released, the next phase of the Forge The Future initiative will involve a concerted effort from businesses, academia, organizations and associations, and government partners to implement the ideas highlighted in the report.

 

To view the Ideas for Action report, visit paforgethefuture.com.

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About Forge The Future

Forge The Future is a project initiated by Pennsylvania businesses. Its goal is to unlock the economic potential of the state’s world-class natural gas reserves, and ultimately advance an energy-enabled economy. In Phase I, Chevron and Peoples Gas invested in a state-wide econometric study by McKinsey with the goal of establishing a fact base and strategic directions for economic opportunities resulting from the state’s natural gas reserves. The study revealed an unprecedented opportunity to create an economic growth agenda for Pennsylvania: the potential to add $60 billion in Pennsylvania GDP growth, more than 100,000 jobs and billions in state tax revenue.


What started as a project of Chevron and Peoples Gas, with a Steering Committee that included The Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, has now grown to include partnerships with the PA Chamber of Business and Industry, PA Manufacturers’ Association, and some 100 businesses, schools and organizations.