Pa. Senator Kim Ward, Lieutenant Gov. Fetterman react to U.S. Steel decision to curb $1.5B investment

Pennsylvania Politics

FILE – In this Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 file photo, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman speaks at a news conference in the governor’s Capitol reception room in Harrisburg, Pa. A provision slipped into lame-duck budget legislation Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 would ban flags not approved by lawmakers from flying at the state Capitol — such as the pro-marijuana legalization and LGBTQ- and transgender-rights flags that Fetterman hangs from his second-floor outdoor balcony that overlooks the building’s broad front steps. (AP Photo/Marc Levy, File)

(WHTM) — On Friday, U.S. Steel announced the company would not move forward with their $1.5 billion investment in the Mon Valley, Allegheny County.

U.S. Steels’ decision to cancel the Mon Valley investment eliminates many jobs for men and women in western Pennsylvania.

Specifically, according to Pittsburgh Works — a coalition of trade unions, corporations and workforce development leaders in Allegheny County — approximately 1,000 construction jobs and 3,000 steelworker positions are eliminated as a result of the decision.

The investment was created to decrease the United States’ carbon footprint, as well.

State Senator Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland) and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman (D) released statements on the matter Friday afternoon.

“What happened today is the result of local government leaders letting radical environmental groups like PennFuture, GASP and Breathe PA, funded in part by elitist Pittsburgh Foundations, bully them into abandoning blue-collar workers, the PA Building trades and the very heart of what built America — Pittsburgh steel,” Senate Majority Leader Ward said.

Ward was joined by Fetterman in criticizing the decision to curb the nearly two-billion-dollar investment.

“How can we expect to make the major investments in good union jobs here in Pittsburgh that President Biden is talking about when we just threw away a historic opportunity to make some of the greenest steel in the world in our own backyard?” Fetterman said in a release.

Ward, a Republican, also pointed out that, while she and Fetterman are rarely on the same page, they can agree on this.

“Lt. Governor Fetterman, who actually lives in the shadow of the steel plant, was outwardly supportive of US Steel. I might not agree with him on much, but I do on this one for sure,” Ward said.

This decision comes less than 48 hours since President Joe Biden addressed Congress, saying wind turbines should be built in Pittsburgh instead of overseas.

“The reality is we just missed out on a huge opportunity to do exactly that when the region turned their backs on the working men and women of Allegheny County,” Fetterman said.

The Allegheny County Departments of Health and Environmental Protection had application approval for nearly two years — even prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Ward said the U.S. Steel decision was the result of Allegheny officials giving in to “extreme environmental groups” before considering the repercussions of their actions.

“I will never understand why I was one of the only elected officials who pushed for this major project proactively and enthusiastically, while so many others turned their back on the working men and women of the Steelworkers and Building Trades in Allegheny County,” Fetterman said.

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