There are 3 keys to a sustainable prosperity for Pennsylvania. That's according to John Surma, Chairman and CEO of U.S. Steel and the Chairman of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. At the annual meeting of the Conference Tuesday evening, Surma told the 400 business, education and community leaders in attendance that those keys are: powering Pennsylvania's economy through energy; creating a competitive climate for business growth; and, sustaining our core communities.
Surma outlined the Conference's 2011 agenda in working with elected leaders. He said nothing has a more acute impact on the people of Pennsylvania than transportation, and unless a comprehensive plan is implemented roads and bridges will go unmaintained and there will be sharp service cuts by the Port Authority...
"The consequences are likely to be severe for all of us who do business in the city of Pittsburgh whether or not we use public transit. I understand that if you eliminate 1 bus, up to 40 more cars will take to the road. By one estimate, 5,000 more cars will crowd downtown streets each work day if the Port Authority follows through on the planned cuts."
Surma says there's no cheap or easy solution to the issue but it's important that Pennsylvania invests in transportation infrastructure.
Surma says Governor-elect Tom Corbett faces challenges regarding underfunded pensions and the uncertainty around natural gas development. He called the Marcellus Shale "a game changer" and the state needs a comprehensive policy approach that encourages development "in a safe, fair and environmentally responsible manner that includes solutions to regulatory and permitting issues and considers the implications of any new taxes. To make it simple....we need to make sure this is a win for Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians.