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Shuster, CONSOL Energy Highlight Pittsburgh International Airport Public-Private Partnership

Washington – Congressman Bill Shuster, Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, along with Nick DeIuliis, CONSOL Energy President, kicked off a new public-private partnership, which will fuel the region’s economy and reinvest in Pittsburgh International Airport’s infrastructure.

In February 2013, the Allegheny County Airport Authority (ACAA) leased approximately 9,000 acres at Pittsburgh International Airport to CONSOL Energy for oil and gas development. 

“This great project will revitalize the Pittsburgh area economy, provide more domestic clean energy and increase investment in our infrastructure,” said Shuster. “This public-private partnership between the Pittsburgh International Airport and CONSOL Energy is a great example of why these partnerships are so important in contributing to greater economic vitality and are a key piece of our economic and infrastructure planning.”

“Millions of jobs and billions in revenues have been unleashed by technological advancements in shale exploration and development,” said Nicholas J. DeIuliis, president of CONSOL Energy.  “CONSOL Energy is excited and proud to be part of a strong public-private partnership with the Allegheny County Airport Authority that will allow us to capitalize on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the benefit of residents of southwestern Pennsylvania. We intend to make it a flagship endeavor that everyone can be proud of.”

Over the past four months, CONSOL Energy and the ACAA have been evaluating the locations of potential well sites and water impoundments that CONSOL Energy would like to use to access the natural gas at the airport property and have identified 6 potential well sites and a small number of impoundment locations.

“We are pleased that this great partnership with Allegheny County and CONSOL is underway.  These funds are helping us to decrease costs for airlines serving Pittsburgh International Airport, which will make the facility even more competitive and marketable,” said David Minnotte, Chairman, Allegheny County Airport Authority.

“This partnership stands to benefit not just Pittsburgh International Airport, but the entire region by financing desperately needed infrastructure improvements and eliminating the airport’s crippling debt burden. Reducing high gate fees is essential to attracting more direct flights here so employers, especially in the energy industry, can expand their presence and bring more jobs to Southwestern Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Tim Murphy (PA-18).

“Since my election, I have worked cooperatively with many of our corporate and community leaders as we work to increase the number of flights and reduce fees for airlines at PIT,” said County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.  “This public-private partnership will provide an even greater focus to those goals and will also allow us to emphasize the impact of domestic energy in our community and the importance of investing in our infrastructure. I look forward to continuing to work together on these issues and to seeing real progress be made.”

CONSOL Energy is also working with the ACAA to identify pipeline locations within and around the airport property; they are being carefully chosen so as to not obstruct future airport growth.  The field survey portion of the Environmental Assessment is underway to assess the potential impacts of these sites. Once that field survey is completed, the first draft of the environmental assessment will be compiled and provided to the ACAA for submission to the FAA. 

CONSOL Energy projects that drilling operations will begin in mid-2014.