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Titusville Rally Remembers 40th Anniversary Of Oil Embargo

Several hundred men and women from the small towns and cities of northwestern Pennsylvania rallied Thursday in support of local conventional oil industry workers and the small businesses that rely on drilling, production, transportation, refining, processing, manufacturing and related industries for jobs.

The event, sponsored by the PA Independent Petroleum Producers Association, took place on the 40th anniversary of the Saudi oil embargo at the Drake Oil Well Museum in Titusville, Warren County.

“On behalf of the more than 350 business we represent and the hundreds of workers they employ, we want to say thank you to the community for all of your support throughout the years,” Gary Hovis, president of PIPP, said. “Our businesses have been here a long time, and despite the hardship of the economy we want to be clear: we’re not going anywhere.”

Former U.S. Congressman John Peterson emceed at the event, which included perspective from small businesses, well site workers, refinery operators and more.

“Nearly 40 years to the day after the oil embargo sent this nation into crisis, headlines were made that the U.S. is about to become the world’s leading energy producer,” Peterson said. “The men and women who go to work every day in the northwest Pennsylvania Oil Patch are making a contribution to that, and we must all work together to keep these jobs here.”

"Pennsylvania Oil powered America's industrial revolution, it sustained us through two world wars and it fueled our nation's rise to become the world's leading economy," said Kevin Shivers, National Federation of Independent Businesses executive state director. "As important as Pennsylvania Oil was to our nation's history, it is even more important for our economic future. America's future energy independence begins with Pennsylvania Oil as well as the other abundant natural resources underneath Penn's Woods."

Pennsylvania’s tens of thousands of conventional oil wells have been pumping out oil for the past 150 years. The industry supports hundreds of direct local jobs and thousands more through indirect economic impact. Speakers at the event spoke to challenges ahead posed by challenging environmental regulations and policies.

“This industry helped power America to its greatest heights and has been the backbone of the economy here,” Sen. Scott Hutchinson (R-Venango) said. “Not only do these wells provide the fuel necessary for modern society to operate, but they provide hundreds of jobs to our economy. We can’t just throw these jobs aside.”

“Byproducts of Pennsylvania-grade crude oil have resulted in countless products we all use in our daily lives,” Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Forest) said. “One of these is paraffin wax, which is used to cover those melt-in-your-mouth M&M’s we all love to eat.”

 “Our independent oil and gas producers are vital contributors, not only to our local economy but to our statewide economy as well, and we need to make sure we don’t regulate them out of business,” Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron) said. “Thousands of people rely on these businesses for their work, and millions benefit from the natural resources harvested in northwest Pennsylvania.”

“Some of these old shallow conventional vertical wells only produce two or three gallons of oil a day,” Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford) said.  “How can small producers stay in business if the costs to comply with all the rules and regulations exceed the value of the oil produced?”

At local refineries, crude extracted from Pennsylvania’s formations is turned into valuable oil used to make cosmetics, lubricants and other necessary consumer goods. Low in nitrogen and sulfur, Pennsylvania Grade Crude helped power the Industrial Revolution and helped America win both World Wars.

The Pennsylvania Independent Petroleum Producers is a non-profit organization that represents over 300 independent producers, industry personnel and supporters. Together, they work to maintain the economic feasibility of independent oil production by influencing current and future oil and gas regulations.


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