Shuster shares on politics

PAT FRIDGEN

Bill Shuster asked that someone bring up the Marcellus Shale issue during

his question and answer session, so Franklin County Commissioner Bob Thomas

did.

Shuster was in Greencastle Tuesday morning to speak at a Chamber of Commerce

breakfast. The crowd of 150 learned what the first couple months of 2011 in

Washington DC had been like, and what their Republican representative from

the 9th District hoped to address in the near future.

As a result of the November elections, Shuster found himself in a new place.

Though some confusion reigned in the now Republican-controlled House of

Representatives, as new electors made their way, he was optimistic

conservative change possible.

³The difference between being in a majority and a minority is night and

day,² he said at Green Grove Gardens. ³We¹ve lived up to our ŒPledge to

America¹ campaign from last year in a very short time.²

The House had voted yes to repealing Obamacare, and it was now before the

Senate. Doubtful that body would make the same statement, Shuster said

Congress would at least chip away at features and slow its implementation.

Facing a $1.6 trillion deficit, Republicans had voted to cut spending by

$650 billion, to bring it back to the 2008 level.

³We are heading down a road that cannot be sustained,² Shuster warned.

³We¹ll look like Greece, and there¹s no one to bail us out except China.²

He was assigned to several committees, including Steering, Armed Services,

Transportation, and Infrastructure, and he was working hard to address the

important issues each of them faced. In light of the financial crunch, he

said it was important to reach across the aisle to build consensus on

legislation.

As to the Marcellus Shale controversy in northern and eastern Pennsylvania,

Shuster said, ³This is so important, we have to get it right.²

The state has been coined Œthe Saudi Arabia of energy¹ with its supply of

natural gas, coal and water, and he believed the development of the gas

industry would benefit even Franklin County. National and international

companies wanted to invest in Pennsylvania, but were leery because of the

uncertainty of the future tax structure. They could choose to set up

businesses in the commonwealth or in Ohio.

Shuster also commented on ways to make transportation improvements less

expensive, if the federal government would get out of the way.

With Pennsylvania losing one House seat due to redistricting after the 2010

census, he hoped the state legislature would maintain his district so he

could continue to represent his mainly rural constituents.