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    Local Representatives Highlight Devastating Impacts To Communities If PA Governor Wolf’s Proposed Carbon Tax Plan Is Enacted

    The virtual news conference was meant to serve as regional example of the accelerated negative economic fallout the Commonwealth would face if the proposed carbon tax plan is enacted.Speaking at today’s news conference was:

    • Indiana County Commissioners R. Michael Keith (Chairman),
      Commissioner Robin Gorman, and Commissioner Sherene Hess
    • Pennsylvania Senator Joe Pittman (R – 41st District)
    • Pennsylvania Representative Jim Struzzi (R – 62nd District)
    • Don Arena, President, South-Central Building Trades
    • Shawn Steffee, Boilermakers Local #154
    • Mark Hilliard, President, Indiana County Chamber of Commerce
    • Dr. Barbara L. Parkins, Superintendent, United School District
    • Mr. Curtis A. Whitesel, Superintendent, Homer-Center School District

    Pennsylvania’s inclusion in RGGI would result in a carbon tax on air emissions from fossil fueled power plants, which are some of the most reliable and efficient providers of energy in the Commonwealth. This tax would lead to the closure of several of these power plants, resulting in the direct elimination of thousands of family-sustaining jobs and increases in the cost of electricity for all the Commonwealth’s energy consumers.

    “Electric generation, coal production and the thousands of other spin-off jobs make up a large part of our region’s economy,” said Indiana County Commissioner R. Michael Keith (Chairman). “We simply cannot stand by and allow more of our residents to be forced out of work, based solely on this ill-conceived proposal.”

    “Pennsylvania’s economy is already seeing high unemployment and business closures,” said Pennsylvania Senator Joe Pittman. “The last thing we need to do is put a further burden on Pennsylvania businesses, school districts and utility rate payers by implementing a high-cost, unilateral mandate.”

    “Even in the face of negligible support and a with a complete lack of public participation, Governor Wolf seems fixated on enacting this job-killing carbon tax,” said Representative Jim Struzzi.  “This plan will provide minimal benefits to the environment but is certain to have severe economic impacts across the Commonwealth.”

    Even without RGGI, Pennsylvania has continued to witness the positive environmental benefits that clean, reliable, and affordable energy provides in a deregulated electricity
    market. Pennsylvania is already ahead of the carbon dioxide emission reduction goals established under Governor Wolf’s Climate Action Plan. In fact, Pennsylvania’s carbon dioxide emissions from the electric power sector have decreased 33% since 2009. Historically, studies have proven carbon taxes do little to effect environmental change, but they do, however, impose a significant cost upon consumers in the form of a new tax.

    “Governor Wolf’s proposal for a carbon tax would be the death knell to the many coal-fired plants across Pennsylvania,” said Don Arena, president of the South-Central Building Trades. “This proposal will quickly eliminate thousands of family-sustaining jobs for so many hardworking men and women, including members throughout our region’s building trades and related unions.”

    “The Governor should acknowledge the tremendous benefits derived from fossil fuel production,” said Shawn Steffee of the Boilermakers Local #154. “These resources have provided Pennsylvania with decades of reliable and affordable energy along with good-paying jobs for thousands.”

    “Small businesses that support the electricity generation and coal-related industries throughout Pennsylvania will experience a significant setback to their businesses,” said Mark Hilliard, president of the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce.  “This policy is pure anti-business and a will create a true competitive disadvantage for Pennsylvania as a whole.”

    “The closing of these power generation plants within our school district will not only impact businesses through job loss, it will also have a negative impact on our educational resources,” said Curtis A. Whitesel, Superintendent for Homer-Center School District.  “If this proposal prevails, our school district would rapidly face an annual $800,000 budget

    shortfall, along with hard decisions about how to fill that shortfall, cut programs and reduce opportunities for our students.”

    “Learning is a critical component for building communities and economies,” said Dr. Barbara L. Parkins, Superintendent of the United School District. “We are hopeful the Governor will assess the overall impacts for such a proposal.”

    Within the past few weeks, many members of the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives have sent Governor Wolf letters urging his administration to suspend Pennsylvania’s regulatory efforts to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which has lacked a formal and open public participation process or any form of legislative concurrence.

  • Wed, 27 May 2020 16:58:00 -0400

    S&T reports multi-million check kiting scheme

    S&T Bancorp Inc. of Indiana and its subsidiary, S&T Bank, told the federal Securities and Exchange Commission that they have become aware of a check kiting scheme conducted by a business customer, resulting in returned deposits totaling approximately $59 million.
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 09:59:00 -0400

    DCNR talks on role in forestry plan

    A spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources said his agency is “actively working” with White Township on its plans for the White’s Woods Nature Center.
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 09:59:00 -0400

    Trustees amend residency requirement

    At a special meeting of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Council of Trustees Tuesday afternoon, an on-campus living residency requirement was amended to expand the mileage allowed for commuter students, and reduce the length of time required of transfer and…
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 09:53:00 -0400

    County courthouse to begin easing restrictions

    A loosening of COVID-19 pandemic preventive restrictions at the Indiana County Court House will take effect next week, court officials said Tuesday.
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 09:57:00 -0400

    Salary board announces hires, promotions

    The Indiana County probation office will come under new leadership in late June.
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 09:56:00 -0400

    Graduation ceremony set to recognize students at ICTC

    A graduation ceremony is set for this evening for seniors at Indiana County Technology Center, where students from seven area school districts will be presented certificates for completion of their studies in trades and technology skills in the parking lot…
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 09:57:00 -0400

    Three teachers hired at high school

    The Homer-Center School District board of directors on Tuesday hired three teachers to the staff at the high school for the 2020-2021 school year, each of them veteran educators including one with credentials as an administrator at Indiana University of…
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 09:48:00 -0400

    Preliminary budget holds line on taxes despite shortfall

    After hearing the message that “every dollar counts,” the Blairsville-Saltsburg school board adopted a preliminary budget Tuesday that reflects a shortfall but holds the line on taxes.
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 09:49:00 -0400

    4-Hers participate in virtual horse program

    Four Indiana County 4-H horse club members recently participated in the virtual PA 4-H Horse Program East-West Challenge.
  • Tue, 26 May 2020 12:45:00 -0400

    Updated: A map of COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania

    A look at the location of COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania by county.
  • Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    The Virtual World of Post-Pandemic America

    “9/11 changed everything,” was a phrase attributed to President George W. Bush after the terrorist attacks on the U.S. in 2001. Commercial air traffic was grounded, no-fly zones around NYC and other major cities were instituted, secu­rity checks began at airports, and federal air marshals became ubiquitous on com­mercial flights. Without the airlines, companies began holding teleconferences. After the travel […]
  • Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    Penn State SBDC Will Now Serve Centre, Clinton, Lycoming and Mifflin Counties

    UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – In January, a plan culminated to combine the Lock Ha­ven University Small Business Develop­ment Center with the Penn State Univer­sity Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The new larger organization, Penn State SBDC, will serve Centre, Clin­ton, Lycoming and Mifflin counties. Penn State SBDC will provide sup­port for small businesses at four office locations: a central office, […]
  • Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    COVID-19: Testing the Limits of Hospitals

    The chief strategy in preventing pan­demics is to test everyone within a country or region who is symptomatic, and if found positive, quarantine them to prevent community spread, which could overwhelm the capacity of local hospitals and health care providers. As of March 18, only 6,563 Americans had been tested for the novel coronavirus. After COVID-19 hit South Korea, the […]
  • Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    4 Tips on Working From Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

    (AP) The option to work from home is usually thought of as a perk, some­thing that companies dangle to attract talented workers who dislike the daily commute. But with rising concerns about COVID-19, the respiratory dis­ease caused by the novel coronavirus, more companies are telling employees to telework to prevent possible infec­tions from spreading in the workplace. “Over the last […]
  • Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    Coronavirus and the Impact on Gas and LNG

    (AP) As with all commodities, the impact of the novel coronavirus (2019- nCoV) on Chinese gas demand will de­pend on both the severity and length of time required to contain the outbreak. Estimated gas demand loss in China had reached 2 billion cubic metres (bcm) by the end of the first week in February, with more than half of this […]
  • Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    Monaca Cracker Plant Another Link in Proposed “Petrochemical Corridor”

    The enormous Royal Dutch Shell pet­rochemical complex taking shape along the Ohio River in Monaca, Pa., is a mam­moth undertaking. Sprawled across the 386-acre site in Beaver County are multiple buildings from one-level units to structures several stories high – and construction cranes that reach into the sky. On the ground are 7,500 workers daily – 1,000 on the night […]
  • Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    There’s a New “Coal” Coming to Appalachia – PLASTICS

    On March 4-6, the Ohio Oil and Gas As­sociation held its 73rd annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. The event brought togeth­er top state and national industry leaders who discussed important issues facing the Ohio oil and gas industry, including the oversupply of natural gas that caused gas prices to plummet. “We had a great attendance, over 700 people, and in […]
  • Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    Pennsylvania Well Report February 1 – March 27, 2020

  • Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    Pennsylvania Natural Gas Industry Ready For Electoral Challenges

    (AP) After years of ideologues and elites using the natural gas industry as a punch­ing bag for politics and climate change activ­ism, Nick DeIuliis, the CEO of CNX Resources, one of the largest nat­ural gas producers in Western Pennsylvania, has had enough. He had decided to speak out because he was tired of the natural gas and manufacturing industries being […]
  • Fri, 27 Mar 2020 13:00:00 +0000

    Appalachian Pipelines: Reversing the Flow of Natural Gas

    Like bemouth snakes, 30-inch diameter natural gas pipelines are now winding their way underground throughout the Appalachian Basin, resulting in in­creased supplies of natural gas being transported to the Eastern Midwest and eventually into New England and into the South Central region, which includes the Gulf Coast states and Texas. Before the Appalachian shale boom, natural gas supplies to the […]
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 21:26:36 +0000

    When pandemic hit, Knotzland’s Nisha Blackwell pivoted in a new direction

    She and her team of sewists pivoted from making bow ties to masks.
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 21:19:52 +0000

    The Wilson Group's Derrick Wilson adjusts product mix to better tap into emerging work-from-home market

    Derrick Wilson has adjusted The Wilson Group’s product mix to better support an emerging work-from-home market.
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 21:18:06 +0000

    ALung Technologies helps Covid-19 patients with its lifesaving respiratory device

    Seeing the potential to help Covid-19 patients, Peter DeComo’s team requested — and got — emergency FDA approval.
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 21:15:04 +0000

    Elaine Bellin turns Paragon Foods to new B-to-C opportunity

    With restaurants operating at limited capacity, Elaine Bellin has turned to a B-to-C opportunity — with the help of a new federal program.
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 21:13:08 +0000

    Fabien Moreau navigates La Gourmandine through the fog of the pandemic

    Like a ship floating through fog, Fabien Moreau is patiently waiting for Covid-19’s haze to lift.
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 21:08:55 +0000

    After shutdown, Urban Capital Group is back to work — and hiring

    Urban Capital Group laid off all its employees and shut down in March. Now, Ryan Scialabba and his team are back to work – and hiring.
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 21:05:55 +0000

    Bloomfield Robotics' Mark DeSantis tackles dealmaking from afar

    Mark DeSantis is an expert when it comes to raising money. But now he’s facing a new challenge — how to do so remotely.
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 21:03:03 +0000

    Small Business, Big Mission: Navigating coronavirus Part II — Small business owners remain resilient in the face of adversity

    Perhaps Fabien Moreau, owner of French patisserie La Gourmandine, summed up the challenges of navigating a small business through Covid-19 the best when he compared it to a ship floating through fog: “When the sailors say, ‘there’s fog,’ and you don’t see anything, you just have to be patient on your boat, blind. That’s what we’re doing right now.” As this invisible fog begins to lift, business owners are starting to assess the damage — to their companies, to their employees and…
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 21:01:15 +0000

    Near Earth Autonomy receives NASA contract

    NASA awarded Pittsburgh-based Near Earth Autonomy a contract to develop drone systems for industrial infrastructure inspection, according to a news release.  The company said current methods are resource heavy and dangerous for workers. Neart Earth Autonomy aims to develop a system that provides contact measurements and macro-imagery for safer, faster inspections and recommendations.   The contract is in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University’s AIR Lab.   “Our value proposition is…
  • Wed, 27 May 2020 21:00:49 +0000

    Wigle Whiskey's Meredith Meyer Grelli keeps spirits up

    Meredith Meyer Grelli tapped into online sales to keep Wigle going during the height of the crisis, with unexpected results.
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