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After Two Months, Delco Natural Gas Facility Still On Hold

An appeals court ruling has left the construction of a new Delaware County natural gas facility in limbo for months, with no clear sign as to when the project is expected to resume.

PECO Energy Company originally set out to build a natural gas “reliability station” in Marple Township several years ago. The company describes the facility as one that will “enable PECO to distribute more natural gas into Delaware County through 11.5 miles of new natural gas main.”

Company officials argued the station will play a key role in ensuring ample gas supply to Delaware County as demand grows for the key fossil fuel energy source.

Township officials in November 2020 rejected PECO’s application to build the plant, after which PECO filed a petition with the state Public Utility Commission asking for the PUC to exempt the company from township zoning rules.

The PUC subsequently ruled in PECO’s favor. Town officials then appealed to the Commonwealth Court, which halted station construction in March, claiming the commission overlooked several key regulatory considerations when ruling for the energy company.

The court said the commission must “incorporate the results of a constitutionally sound environmental impact review” into a new project analysis.

PECO spokesman Greg Smore confirmed to DVJournal that the case is still waiting to be resolved, having been sent back to the PUC for re-evaluation.

“We are disappointed with the decision,” Smore said. “However, we are evaluating our next steps to complete this project, which is critical to meeting the growing need and demand for safe, reliable, and affordable natural gas for our customers in Marple Township and across Delaware County.”

David Hixson, a spokesman for the PUC, said the case “has been reopened and assigned to the PUC’s Office of Administrative Law Judge for further consideration.”

“If further hearings are scheduled by OALJ, notices will be posted to the public docket,” he added, “but to date, no hearings have been scheduled.”

Officials with Marple Township did not respond to queries asking about the case and the township’s opposition to it. In March, after the appeals court decision, the town said in a statement that it was “pleased and encouraged” by the ruling.

“The township continues to believe that the subject property is not an appropriate site for these facilities,” the town said, “and that this will be borne out by a constitutionally sound environmental impact review by the Commission as required by the Commonwealth Court’s decision.”

For years, a citizen-created initiative, the Marple Safety Coalition, has worked against the plant’s construction. The initiative’s website was last updated shortly after the court decision in early March.

“Probably, [the ruling] means that PECO will not begin building anything soon,” one message reads. “However, they can continue to work at the site; over the winter, there was a lot of activity due to their testing of the pipeline, and that testing will probably continue.” The Marple Safety Coalition did not respond to a query from DVJournal.

Only Texas produces more natural gas than Pennsylvania, which is sitting on billions upon billions of cubic feet of the critical energy source. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says Pennsylvania has 48 underground gas storage sites, “the most for any state.”

PECO says Delaware County’s natural gas consumption is projected to surge in the coming years, necessitating more infrastructure like the reliability plant to ensure demand is met.

“PECO anticipates a 20 percent increase in natural gas usage in Delaware County and a 10 percent increase in Marple Township over the next decade,” the company says on its website.

“Without this project,” the company says, “the natural gas system in this area will be constrained, resulting in inadequate natural gas supply and pressure to help customers run their appliances, like heaters, during the coldest days of the year.”

Mayor Candidate Worrell Hopes to Lead Chester to the Future

Patricia Worrell says nobody wants to see the city of Chester lose its charter and dissolved over its fiscal woes. But, she argues, the best way to ensure it doesn’t happen is to elect a mayor with the skills to stop it.

Worrell, 63, is one of three Democrats vying in the May 16 primary for the chance to serve as mayor of the troubled city. Worrell, a longtime member of the city zoning board, and Chester Councilman Stefan Roots, 62, are challenging incumbent Mayor Thaddeus Kirkland, who is 68.

Worrell spoke to DVJournal about her assessment of the city’s current state and where she hopes to take it if she’s sworn in next January.

“On every level, we have major, major issues, the most major issue being our finances,” she tells DVJournal.

Worrell’s background in human resources, business management, and real estate brokerage fields makes her uniquely qualified to head up the government of Chester after years of the city’s decline into potential dissolution.

City receiver Michael Doweary said last month that “everything is on the table” regarding the city’s dire straits. “If a comprehensive solution is not found by the end of the year, there may be no alternative for Chester but disincorporation,” Receiver Chief of Staff Vijay Kapoor said.

Worrell expressed confidence that the situation would not come to that.

“I don’t believe the city will be dissolved,” she said. “I believe that [Doweary] put that out there because that’s the natural next step after bankruptcy if it doesn’t work. But I don’t think the state, county, or even local officials want that to happen.”

“Nobody wants that to happen,” she continued. “I believe that even through their disagreements they will work to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

Worrell said her plans for steering Chester out of its dire financial straits and into more prosperous waters include hiring “qualified staff” to oversee the city’s management. She also said she will use her experience as a real estate broker to help drive a homeownership renaissance.

“I’d like to see homeownership reversed to 60 percent or more homeownership instead of renters,” she said. “That would be one of my first areas of focus.”

She said the city “needs to be a part of the entire community and get involved,” she said. “We need street cleaners and other workers helping to make our community inviting for others to come in and live.”

The candidate said she hopes for a “historic turnout” during the primary this month.

“These local elections are just as important, if not more important, than presidential and state elections,” she said. “I would be happy to see more people get involved in the process.”

Worrell offered qualified praise of Kirkland, though she argued that he is not the person to lead Chester into a more successful chapter of its history.

“He’s been a good asset to the city at the state level,” she said. “But when it comes to the politics, local government means hands-on. You have to have in-depth experience. It’s like running a business. And he does not have the experience of running a business.”

“I just don’t think he realized the particular experiences that it takes to run a local government,” she continued. “At the local level, it’s really hands-on. He just did not have those qualifications.”

Roots did not respond to queries about his own campaign. Kirkland’s press secretary Amanda Johnson told DVJournal the mayor is not currently giving interviews.

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PA Senate Makes National Dems’ 2024 Target List

National Democrats are vowing to advance party control throughout the U.S. in 2024 by targeting what they say are “vulnerable GOP chambers” in state legislatures around the country. On their list:

Pennsylvania’s Senate.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee said in a recent statement that it plans to “harness [the] momentum” of the party’s 2022 victories and “mount competitive challenges in vulnerable GOP chambers that we have an opportunity to take back.”

The DLCC vowed in its statement to both protect its recently won majority in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and flip control of the Pennsylvania Senate from the GOP.

Trevor Southerland, the executive director of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Campaign Committee, admitted the Democratic Party’s 2022 results in the state House “surprised some people.” In that election, Democrats gained control of the lower chamber for the first time in 12 years.

“I think everybody thought we would pick up seats,” Southerland said. “I’m not sure too many people thought we would win the majority.”

“There’s a big play on making sure we protect and potentially expand the majority by taking a few more seats,” he continued, adding the campaign committee helps train candidates on messaging and provides them with staffers to help with mailing campaigns and television spots.

Republicans have maintained strong majorities in the Pennsylvania legislature over the past few decades. Since 1992 the GOP has only lost control of the Senate for one year. Democrats have controlled the House for just eight of those years. The GOP has enjoyed a trifecta—control of the House, Senate, and governor’s office—in 12 of those years.

The Democratic Party has controlled the governor’s office in the state since 2015, the longest stretch of party control for the past 30 years.

Whether or not that signals a possible shift in state politics is uncertain. Charlie Gerow, CEO of Quantum Communications and a GOP candidate for governor in 2022, said that “given the mood of the electorate,” Democrats “have a very steep hill to climb.”

“Joe Biden is unpopular even among Democrats in Pennsylvania,” Gerow said. “The Republicans will have at the top of the ticket some strong candidates as opposed to the weak ones in 2022.”

“The economy here is not working for most people,” he went on. “It’s always the economy. I think Democrats probably hit their high water mark last year and will see the tide recede a little bit in 2024.

“Joe Biden is unpopular even among Democrats in Pennsylvania,” he continued. “The Republicans will have at the top of the ticket some strong candidates as opposed to the weak ones in 2022.”

Pennsylvania statute dictates all seats in the state House are up for re-election every two years, while senators face staggered four-year terms. Most seats in both chambers break easily for one party or another. In 2022, Ballotpedia identified just 16 percent of House districts as “battleground” races. The election tracker designated just 18 percent of state Senate races last year as contested.

One Republican strategist who spoke on background pointed to the upcoming race in Pennsylvania’s 163rd House District as a potentially close contest, though he speculated Democrats would ultimately prevail. That seat was vacated by Democratic Rep. Mike Zabel last month amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

The strategist said that though Democrats will likely hold onto the seat, Republicans have put up a strong candidate—Army veteran Katie Ford—and that they may have a fighting chance at flipping it. “If they do, it’s a harbinger of things to come,” he said.

And it’s not just the state legislature. On Monday the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released its list of targeted GOP seats to flip, and on the list is Bucks County’s U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick. It’s not the first time for the swing-district Republican.

Asked about their effort, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Chris Gustafson said, “House Democrats are grasping for seats as they continue to support extreme policies that are completely out of touch. Brian Fitzpatrick has consistently delivered results for Pennsylvania families and they are excited to re-elect him next fall.”

Southerland believes Democrats can turn the entire state government blue. “There’s definitely room for us to grow a little bit,” he said.

“In the last 10 years, state legislative politics have really taken off, and Democrats have been a little behind Republicans as far as getting national groups on board,” he said. “We’re glad to be catching up.”

Gerow offered a counterpoint. With American politics so volatile, there’s “a chance” Democrats could lose control of the state House just two years after they secured it.

“You’re going to see some interesting races along the way,” he said.

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Bucks, Montgomery Senators Push to Close Women’s ‘Pay Gap.’ Experts Say It’s Not So Simple.

“It is inconceivable that in 2023, women in Pennsylvania still earn less than their male colleagues for the same work.”

That claim, from state Sen. Steven Santarsiero (D-Bucks), echoes decades of arguments from feminists and other left-wing activists who have alleged that women are paid considerably less than their male colleagues for doing the same jobs.

Santarsiero last week introduced a bill meant to help remedy the “pay gap” allegedly suffered by women in Pennsylvania. The proposal, co-sponsored by Sen. Maria Collett (D-Montgomery), is meant to update the state’s existing equal pay laws to help “reinvigorate Pennsylvania’s economy, and lift women and children out of poverty,” as Santarsiero said in a press release.

“Pennsylvania women still earn even less on the dollar than women in other states,” Collett said in the release, arguing the “disparity is even more pronounced for women of color.”

Santarsiero’s office did not respond to a request for more information on the senator’s claims about wage gaps. Bailey Landis, a spokeswoman for Collett’s office, indicated her claims about pay gaps were drawn from data gathered by the American Association of University Women.

“There are certainly many contributing factors to the gender pay gap, as the senators mention in their bill memo,” Landis told the Delaware Valley Journal. “This bill would specifically update Pennsylvania’s Equal Pay Law to make needed improvements and prevent wage discrimination.”

Activists regularly claim the gap is due in no small part to anti-woman discrimination by employers. Yet after years of advocacy and research, the evidence for a major artificial gap between men’s and women’s pay rates remains elusive, with experts claiming that a variety of factors affect the difference between male and female salaries, of which outright discrimination is only one small possibility.

Metropolitan State University at Denver Professor Christina Huber told DVJ that “much of the gender pay gap reflects the fact that women continue to be overrepresented in underpaying jobs.”

Huber, a professor of economics, said that on average “men and women choose different types of occupations.”

“If we compare men and women within the same occupation, then nearly one-third of the gender pay gap disappears,” she said.

“Much of the rest of the gap reflects that even within the same occupations, women choose different types of careers,” Huber continued.

She cited a hypothetical in which a man and woman both begin at a law firm after graduating from law school, where both will make the same salary.

“However, over the next several years as the woman starts a family, she is more likely to move from the demanding, high-powered law firm to a more family-friendly firm, that allows flexible working hours and perhaps remote work at home,” she continued.

Rakesh Kochhar, a senior researcher at Pew Research, said that “the vast literature on the gender pay gap has identified a multitude of factors, some linked more closely to issues at the workplace (e.g., pay levels) and others more closely linked to issues outside of the workplace,” like parenthood.

“[A]s far as I am aware, consensus on the precise contribution of each of these factors is lacking,” Kochhar continued. “In other words, I couldn’t say that X percent of the pay gap is due to this factor, Y percent is due to that factor, and so on.”

The compensation and data firm Payscale said in an analysis this year that when controlled for extraneous factors, the gender pay gap is $0.01, or one penny.

“Although .99 cents may seem very close to $1, small differences in earnings on the dollar can compound over the course of a lifetime career,” the firm argued.

Huber argued that, though the small pay gap after controlling for factors is “likely to reflect discrimination,” though she said existing laws have already done well to reduce that aspect of the gap.

“Our nation’s discrimination laws have worked very well at eliminating pay discrimination among men and women, but there is likely some small aspect remaining,” she said.

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Ahead of Possible Senate Bid, McCormick Blames SVB Crisis on Biden Fiscal Policy

Former Bridgewater CEO and possible 2024 U.S. Senate hopeful Dave McCormick slammed what he said was a “decade” of bad monetary and fiscal policy from government leaders that led to recent bank meltdowns.

McCormick made the claim during a DVJournal podcast interview regarding the historic collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and the federal government’s scrambling efforts to contain the fallout.

Acknowledging that “anybody that’s predicting too much” about the crisis “probably is too confident” about the “dynamic situation,” McCormick—who is widely viewed as a likely Senate challenger to incumbent Democrat Sen. Bob Casey next year—argued there are “a set of root causes” that led to SVB’s collapse.

“We’ve had a decade or more of misguided fiscal policy and misguided monetary policy,” McCormick said. “We’ve had fiscal policy that has been enormous spending, and that spending has accelerated dramatically under Joe Biden.

“Discretionary spending has gone up by about 40 percent,” he continued. “You’ve had the three big pieces of legislation, which have added something like $18 trillion of new spending over the next 10 years, and that’s a huge driver of inflation.”

McCormick further argued that “very low interest rates” have driven financiers to adjust their spending and investment practices accordingly, driving them to “lock in long-duration treasuries and things like that in search of yield.

“And when the Fed raised rates to essentially offset the inflation that they helped create, that created a crisis at SVB because those treasuries that they held in their balance sheet went down in value,” he said. “They had to sell capital to try to close the hole, and that spooked their depositors and their depositors started to take out money.”

McCormick called the present chaos “the tip of the iceberg in terms of the problem,” one that “[won’t] go away until we get our fiscal house in order and back to our normal monetary policy.”

McCormick, who is promoting his new book “Superpower In Peril,” is increasingly being viewed as a favorite for the 2024 Senate race, with many analysts and strategists balking at the prospect of another bid by state Sen. Doug Mastriano, who lost his gubernatorial bid against Gov. Josh Shapiro last year.

However, a Public Policy Polling survey this week showed Mastriano with a sizeable lead ahead of McCormick in a potential 2024 GOP primary matchup.

TOOMEY: Farewell to The Senate (Part Two)

As a general matter, as a body, I think we all understand we are not that popular, but I don’t think I have ever worked with a more impressive group of individuals. So I appreciate having had that chance.

I also have to thank the people o this great Commonwealth of Pennsyl- vania that my family and I get to live in. Leader McConnell  used my line. It is true, and I say it all the time, and will always be true; representing Pennsylvania in the U.S. Senate for these 12 years has been the greatest honor of my professional life. I will always be enormously grateful to the wonderful people of this great State for their entrusting me with this awesome responsibility.

I am also uniquely grateful to the people, the volunteers, who made those campaigns successful.

When I think about my mission in the Senate, I think about two complimentary aspects of it. First, it is to represent and defend the specific interests of Pennsylvania, and I tried to do that to the best of my ability.

You know, I think sometimes we are such a big and diverse state that what is good for Pennsylvania is usually good for America and vice versa, but it has also been important to me to defend and advance the cause of personal freedom. In the hierarchy of political values, freedom is first for me.

I think the purpose, the real purpose of government is to secure the blessings of liberty, and government too often is the source of restrictions on our freedom instead. But in this category of defending and advancing personal freedom, my focus has tended to be the economic realm.

Economic freedom is a fundamental aspect of personal freedom, and there is awell-documented high correlation between a society’s economic freedom and the level of prosperity and th standard of living of the people in that society.

So you probably won’t be surprised to learn that I think my biggest legislative accomplishment was that opportunity that I had to be a part of a small group of Senators, Finance Committee members, who got a chance to develop and help pass the 2017 tax reform. That group included Sen. Portman, Sen. Scott, Sen. Thune, and countless hours that we spent in a conference room dealing with what was a very complex product. We took our draft, and we presented it to our colleagues, and over a course of many weeks, we kind of iterated our way to what became the most sweeping tax reform in at least 30 years. And we expanded economic freedom with that product. Honestly, I have to tell you, I think the results were even better than what we had hoped for.

By the time the tax reform had been fully implemented—I think calendar year 2019—we had the strongest economy of my lifetime. We had strong eco- nomic growth, a 50-year low unemployment, all time record-low unemployment for African Americans, all time record-low unemployment for Hispanic Americans and other ethnic minority  groups. Wages were growing, and they were growing faster than the rate of inflation, which means that workers  were able to see a rise in their standard of living. And wages were growing fastest for the lowest income Americans so we were also narrowing the income gap.

We ended corporate inversions. There hasn’t been one since. Remember how frequently they were occurring?

And with a lower corporate tax rate but also fewer deductions, business boomed. The corporate tax rate was down to 21 percent. This year, with a 21-percent top rate, we are exceeding the revenue projections that were made prior to tax reform when the rate was 35 percent. This is not just about inflation.  As a share of our economy, total federal tax revenue is at a multi-decade high. So much for the thought that we were going to increase the size of the deficit from the tax reform.

Oh, and by the way, we also made the Tax Code even more progressive than it was. That is right. Higher earners now pay a greater portion of the total tax burden than they did before our tax reform.

I know my Democratic colleagues were skeptical about this, and I understand. But I would like to suggest, the data is in, and it is really good. There are important provisions that are scheduled to expire, and I do hope that Congress and the administration can find a bipartisan path to extending—or better still—making permanent these otherwise expiring provisions.

(Please look for Part 3 of Sen. Toomey’s remarks in an upcoming issue of the Delaware Valley Journal.)


FLOWERS: PA Voters Pick Nihilism Over Compassion

I’ve been told abortion was the deciding factor in Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race.  I myself have written about the importance of abortion in the grand scheme of things, the measure and metric by which we determine our collective humanity. And if abortion really was the thing that motivated women and the men who loved (or at least wanted to date) them, we have our answer about that collective humanity: It’s missing in action.

When I think that a majority of voters in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania chose to align themselves with someone who has such a radical view of abortion rights as John Fetterman, and to a slightly lesser extent Josh Shapiro, whose Twitter feed kept sending out inane messages about “a woman’s right to choose” as if it had Tourette Syndrome, then the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade revealed a very deep schism in modern society and in this state in particular.

You might think the word “eugenicist” is a bit much, given its overtones of the Holocaust and Mengele.  The doctor who performed horrific experiments in the concentration camps was attempting to design a society where only perfect Aryan creatures existed and reproduced with each other. But the pseudo “science” of eugenics has existed for generations and was embraced by exalted historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt, Oliver Wendell Homes, and Margaret Sanger. That brings me to the point of calling abortion supporters “amoral eugenicists.”

Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, championed abortion as a form of extreme birth control.  Despite an attempt at whitewashing by the PP crowd, Sanger never actually disavowed her enthusiastic support for sterilizing immigrants, people of color, poor people, and all those others who did not rise to the level of what she considered a valuable and contributing member of society. She did not use terms like “Aryan.” She simply wanted to improve society by weeding out the less desirables. Generations later, Hillary Clinton echoed that philosophy when she talked about the basket of “deplorables,” and it is clear that from a progressive standpoint, eugenics was at the very least a nuanced issue. To them, it had some value.

Abortion is an extension of eugenics. It permits people to make judgments about the value of other people, other human beings. The terminology is carefully curated so that we stop talking about “people” and shift towards a focus on “fetus.” Some have even used the term “opportunistic parasite.” Those of us who are pro-life and follow the actual science are content to settle for the universal term “human being.”  But that is something that encourages compassion and reflection on the exact nature of the act of aborting. And to those who support abortion, like John Fetterman, reflection is a dangerous and counterproductive thing.

When I think that a majority of voters in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania chose to align themselves with someone who has such a radical view of abortion rights, I realize the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade revealed a very deep schism in modern society, and in this state in particular. While Roe was still in place, the abortion supporters were marginally pacified. They were not on the defensive, the law was on their side, and they could complain about conservative pro-lifers, safe in the knowledge that a half-century of creative precedent was on their side.  Then came Dobbs, and the tectonic plates shifted to create a social earthquake. Pro “choice” women saw their choice reduced to a state-by-state determination, panicked, and looked for people to blame.

The target was easy: Conservatives in general, Republicans in particular.

The method was easier: Elect the man who said he’d protect their right to abort whenever and however they wanted.

The reckoning came on Tuesday night, and I have to congratulate the sisters for their determination, organization, and motivation in making sure that they were still able to advance Margaret Sanger’s mission of selecting human value by calling it “autonomy.”

The nihilism vote won.

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HOLY COW! HISTORY: America’s Other Independence Day

On a hot, muggy Thursday in early July 1776, a handful of men got together in Pennsylvania and declared their independence from Great Britain. But they weren’t meeting in Independence Hall and Messrs. Franklin, Adams, and Jefferson weren’t there. At least, not at this meeting.

Yet on the very same day some 100 miles away, another group met and did the very same thing. Maybe it was an incredible coincidence; perhaps the historical facts were fudged a little to make a good story even better; or perhaps it was just one of those odd things that happen from time to time. Whatever the reason, it’s an interesting tale that’s largely forgotten today.

This is the story of America’s other Independence Day.

It all started a decade earlier. Britain bought a bunch of land from the Iroquois Indians, opening big chunks of Pennsylvania and New York to settlement. There was considerable haziness about the purchase area’s exact boundary. Squatters moved into disputed territory in the West Branch Susquehanna River valley.

Because they were living in the area illegally, those settlers had no voice in Pennsylvania’s colonial government. So, they created one for themselves.

They established what they called a “Fair Play System” in 1773. Three commissioners were elected and charged with making sure everyone was treated fairly. (Thus, the name.) They spent most of their time addressing property headaches arising from faulty deeds and land claims. But they also handled criminal cases that arose, and when they did so the commissioners didn’t mess around. They had the authority to expel anyone found guilty by setting them adrift in a canoe. Say what you may about the system, at least it wasn’t soft on crime.

The arrangement seemed to more or less work to everyone’s satisfaction. Until the colonies decided to go to war with the mother country in 1775.

Because they weren’t included in Pennsylvania’s legislature, the settlers had no voice in the momentous events being debated just then. The folks living in the West Branch Susquehanna River valley were Patriots, too, and resented being left out.

They once again took matters into their own hands. And they did it in a big way.

The Fair Play Men got together in early July on the west bank of Pine Creek. Since it was blazing hot, they met under the shade of the “Tiadaghton Elm” tree. After talking it over, the Fair Play System declared its independence from England.

And it did so on July 4, 1776.

Little did the Fair Play Men know that at that precise moment some 100 miles away in Philadelphia, the Second Continental Congress was voting to do the exact same thing.

At this point, details get very murky very fast. Two men were dispatched to inform colonial officials what the group had done. The pair were ambushed and robbed on the way by Pro-British Indians, jailed by pro-British Loyalists, later escaped, and finally arrived in Philly only to find the Continental Congress had stolen their thunder a week earlier.

The Fair Play Men didn’t put their declaration in writing the way John Hancock did his. That has historians divided over just what happened. Some say records were destroyed in a later fire. Or maybe nothing was put in writing at all to avoid being discovered by the British (who took a harshly dim view of rebelling against the Crown’s authority).

Others claim the two riders may have carried a copy of their declaration with them, but it was stolen when they were waylaid.

Still others doubt whether the meeting occurred on July 4, suspecting later generations may have stretched the date a little to create a cool coincidence.

For two centuries the “Tiadaghton Elm” was a local landmark until advanced age finally claimed it in the 1970s. A marker stands at the site today as a reminder.

While we will never know the full story, it’s fairly certain something significant happened there in July 1776. Whether it was on the Fourth or another day doesn’t matter. Because it showed American independence was more than just a fantasy held by a handful of political idealists hunkered down in sweltering Philadelphia. It was a dream, a vision of a different kind of country where a man could live the life he chose in freedom. And people in even the most remote backwater parts of this land were willing to stand up and declare it for themselves.

That’s worth celebrating today.

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PODCAST: PA’s Energy Abundance Is Good for U.S. Why Does Biden Treat It So Badly?

On this edition of the Delaware Valley Journal podcast, David Callahan, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition talks about the benefits Pennsylvania and America get from the abundant, clean natural gas found in the Keystone State. DVJournal News Editor Linda Stein asked about PA’s different system of taxing natural gas compared to other states, and the revenue benefits from the energy sector for local governments.

And if you’re looking for a good-paying job in Pennsylvania — some with a six-figure salary — David Callahan knows who you should call!

Hosted by Michael Graham.





First Post-Primary Poll Shows Shapiro, Fetterman Leading Top PA Races

If the latest polls are any indication, Republicans Doug Mastriano and Dr. Mehmet Oz have their work cut out for them.

A USA Today/Suffolk poll released Wednesday showed they are trailing Democrats Josh Shapiro and John Fetterman in the race for Pennsylvania governor and U.S. Senator.

In the poll of 500 likely voters, Attorney General Shapiro led Mastriano, a state senator from Franklin County, 44 to 40 percent. Minor party candidates totaled 3 percent and 13 percent were undecided. The poll has a 4.4 margin of error.

Oz tallied at 37 percent and Fetterman, now serving as lieutenant governor, at 46 percent.  Minor party candidates came in at 16 percent and 13 percent were undecided.

And 26 percent of the voters thought the economy was the most important issue, followed by gun control. And just as in the rest of the country, President Joe Biden’s approval rating is underwater in Pennsylvania.

Some 38 percent approved Biden’s job performance while 54 percent disapproved.

In 2018, 48 percent of Pennsylvania voters were registered as Democrats and 40 percent were Republicans. Today, the Democratic Party registration advantage has been reduced to 45 percent-41 percent among active voters, said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.

“Even with Democratic party registration dwindling in Pennsylvania, both Fetterman and Shapiro are adopting a more populist approach to midterm voters and winning independents,” Paleologos said. “Voters say they are unhappy with the economy in Pennsylvania and President Biden’s job approval, yet these particular Democrats are threading the needle thus far.”

Robin Kolodny, chair of the political science department at Temple University, thinks voters have a lot of information about the candidates already.

“What these polls show is that most Pennsylvanians are already familiar with the candidates and have formed opinions about them,” she said.  “The campaigns still have months to go to try to change voters’ minds, but these early polls underscore how competitive both races will be.”

However, Liz Preate Havey, who chairs the Montgomery County Republicans, believes the Republicans will prevail this year.

“I think people will vote their pocketbook,” said Havey. “There’s a lot of energy upset and anger against the Democrats in general and, according to polls, independents are dramatically breaking for Republicans two and three to one at this point.”

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