HARRISBURG (AP) — Natural gas industry groups say President Donald Trump will give keynote remarks at their annual conference in the battleground state of Pennsylvania next week.
Trump’s appearance next Wednesday at Pittsburgh’s Shale Insight conference comes as hydraulic fracturing is emerging as an issue in the 2020 presidential campaign. Hydraulic fracturing is the practice of using concentrated blasts of water to crack subterranean pockets of shale and release natural gas.
The conference is a friendly place for Trump. He delivered remarks there in 2016 and organizers say he recognizes the industry’s significance. This will be the president’s second natural gas industry-related stop in western Pennsylvania over just a few months.
In August, Trump spoke at a massive under-construction ethane refinery in Beaver County. When completed in the early 2020s, the ethane “cracker” plant will refine natural gas to manufacture plastics to be used in a wide range of products
During Trump’s August speech, he credited his administration’s efforts to clear regulatory roadblocks for development of shale gas throughout the shale gas region, and particularly with the ethane “cracker” plant.
The president touted the economic benefits of fracking, which have extended not just to Pennsylvania but also to neighboring West Virginia and Ohio.
Several Democratic presidential candidates are running on a promise to ban fracking.
The Shale Insight Conference will be held from Oct. 22 to 24 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. The event is held in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh on alternating years.