It’s the same song and dance: out-of-state interests and liberal elitists hounded by a progressive mob make a decision that benefits literally no one and negatively impacts Pennsylvanians, our landowners, and our economic future.

This month, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation rejected the Northeast Enhancement Project that would’ve shipped natural gas from Pennsylvania to New York via an undersea pipeline. The pipeline was nominally rejected for failing to meet water quality standards.

In reality, it was rejected on a technicality following an activist campaign and opposition from radical progressive leadership within New York State, including Mayor Bill De Blasio, U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, and of course, the ever-outraged Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.

But as is the case with the impulse-driven progressive mob, these policies hurt everyday Americans, and in this case, Pennsylvanians will continue the bear the costs and not realize the real value of their land as other people step on their Constitutionally protected rights.

New York has a booming energy need. But today, New York City pipeline infrastructure is at capacity and natural gas demand in the New York City Region is projected to rise 10 percent in just the next decade – and for those on the left that have never had an economics lesson, increased demand and lower supply means higher prices.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is energy abundant and the Northeast Enhancement Project would connect the state’s natural gas fields to demanding markets in New York, supplying badly needed energy.

In fact, Pennsylvania in general and Northeast Pennsylvania in particular has been poised to take greater advantage of the state’s homegrown energy resources.

However, influence from out-of-state groups like the Delaware River Basin Commission controlled by liberal activist leaders like Gov. Tom Wolf and Gov. Andrew Cuomo coupled with the ever-looming threat of a natural gas severance tax have halted the natural gas industry’s expansion into gas-potential areas like Northeastern Pennsylvania.

If states like Pennsylvania and New York were to find a way to work with energy-producing job creators rather than obtusely stifle their growth, industry expansion would no doubt follow. That means Pennsylvania landowners could lease their land for exploration, drilling, and to operators.

In rural Pennsylvania, the ability to have the natural gas economy and downstream industries set up shop is a literal economic game-changer. In this case, the Northeast Enhancement Project would have helped impoverished areas that could have reaped the benefits of jobs and investment that come with this type of project. Not to mention, the construction of the pipeline alone would bring much needed jobs to both states’ business and labor communities.

The irony of the pipeline’s rejection is that Pennsylvania isn’t the only one hurt by radical, far-left decision-makers. New York residents, consumers in general and the environment will bear the brunt of this flawed action. Energy prices will rise and Americans – especially Pennsylvanians – will not experience the economic boom that would’ve come from this type of large scale project.

Moreover, by restricting the import of natural gas, you can bet New Yorkers will turn to oil, which produces 38 percent more carbon dioxide than natural gas and generates more pollution as an energy source.

When New York’s decisions impact Pennsylvania’s ability to expand its economic potential, nobody wins and everyday Pennsylvanians continue get hurt as a result of the failed leadership of out-of-touch Democrats. It’s these kinds of impulsive progressive policies that we could expect nationwide if a Democrat were to take the White House in 2020 – and that’s why the people of Pennsylvania will fight to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Val DiGiorgio is the chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania.

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