I got an update from Rep. Lloyd Smucker’s office proudly touting his recent trip to Pittsburgh with President Donald Trump. I couldn’t be more disgusted. For Smucker to be proud of his association with the president — with the president’s current impeachment inquiry troubles, lack of moral values, constant lies and blatant disregard for the Constitution — is disturbing.
Smucker praises the use of natural gas from shale that led to the construction of a western Pennsylvania cracker plant, which uses natural gas and then turns it into the building blocks of plastic. The plastic pellets that are produced by “cracking” ethane molecules will be sold to manufacturers of plastic products. This is not the time to be producing more plastic — we should be producing and consuming less plastic.
Smucker said in his newsletter that natural gas has helped reduce our carbon emissions. However, this cracker plant poses dangerous pollution problems for western Pennsylvania. Note these statistics from a Yale Environment 360 article:
“When it comes online in 2021, Shell’s ethane cracker will also add significantly to air pollution in western Pennsylvania, becoming the region’s largest source of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are harmful gases emitted by solids or liquids, including combusted fossil fuels. The facility will also emit substantial amounts of nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), fine particulate matter, and other hazardous air pollutants.” These pollutants have been linked to an increase in asthma and heightened risk of cancer.
Trump and Smucker are taking us backward. This is wrong.