The Associated Press reports that some legislative Republicans in Harrisburg are open to a minimum wage increase. Simply put, that’s daft.
The Pennsylvania minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf is seeking a $12 hourly wage floor. The AP says the GOP could accept a minimum wage hike “but at a much lower figure.”
But even “at a much lower figure,” entry-level jobs will be lost.
The wire service story cites “years of pressure by Pennsylvania Democrats” for what, by any standard, represents a caving in by the GOP. After all, Republicans control the Pennsylvania General Assembly.
There are many ways to improve the economy. Raising the minimum wage is not one of them.
It’s not everyday that you see this headline: “New coal mine to bring 70 jobs or more to Pennsylvania.”
But that’s the plan by Corsa Coal Corp with its new Acosta Deep Mine in Somerset County’s Jenner Township, beginning in May.
The Tribune-Review reports the mine is expected to produce 400,000 tons of metallurgical coal annually which would be used, hopefully, by the steel industry.
Corsa CEO George Dethlefsen tells the Trib the Trump administration’s plan for roads, bridges and other public infrastructure should boost demand for steel — and the kind of coal needed to make that steel.
We shall see, of course. But there can be no doubt that having confidence in the economy is a critical component in the economic health of a state and nation. And the best way to fill tax coffers is economic growth.
Speaking of energy, the Beaver County Times reports that plans for the Falcon Ethane Pipeline are progressing.
That’s the 94-mile pipeline that will carry ethane from and through three states (Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania) to supply “feedstock” to Shell’s coming “cracker” plant in Beaver County’s Potter Township.
Property rights-of-way are being assembled and necessary permits are being acquired. Construction is expected to begin in 2019.
Coupled with the recently approved Mariner East 2 cross-state pipeline, the fortunes of the tri-state region’s shale gas industry certainly appear to be looking up.
Here’s a hypocrisy we see all too often from “progressives” entrenched in bureaucracy, and at all levels of government: They questions the motives of others as “extreme” but dismiss their own motives — motives that oftentimes redefine “extreme.”
To wit, The Washington Times reports that some within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are expressing concerns about newly confirmed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s “ties” to the oil and gas industries.
Pruitt is the former Oklahoma attorney general who pulled no punches in challenging EPA regulations he thought exceeded the agency’s congressional and/or constitutional warrants.
Critics, however (including many Democrats), argue that Pruitt is too cozy with energy industry players. Among their concerns, The Times reports, is “a letter sent by Mr. Pruitt to the EPA, raising questions about the agency’s conclusions regarding harmful emissions from natural gas wells.”
The majority of the language came directly from an Oklahoma energy company, critics complain. It is nothing less than “collusion,” they charge.
But where are these same critics when the environmental regulatory agencies, federal and state, parrot (and apparently without much vetting) the talking points of envirocrats?
Or, in Pennsylvania’s case last year, a top state environmental official imploring the environmental lobby to strike back against the shale gas and oil industries?
One of the great champions of capitalism, and a Western Pennsylvania icon, has died. Michael Novak passed away Friday in his Washington, D.C., home. He was 83. Novak was born in Johnstown and grew up in both Indiana, Pa., and McKeesport.
It is this quote that best embodies his philosophy:
“Capitalism forms morally better people than socialism does,” Novak said in 2007. “Capitalism teaches people to show initiative and imagination, to work cooperatively in teams, to love and to cherish the law; what is more, it forces persons to not only rely on themselves and their own moral qualities, but also to recognize those moral qualities in others and to cooperate with with others freely.”
Re-read that quote several times and let its import sink in.
Colin McNickle is a senior fellow and media specialist at the Allegheny Institute for Public Policy (email@example.com).