A Tuesday hearing in the state House aimed to highlight connections between oil and gas industry byproducts and health care system.
It was a joint hearing of the Health Committee, chaired by Rep. Kathy Rapp, and the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee and focused on, per a statement “powering modern medicine and our health care system.”
Speakers included representatives from major health care organizations as well as trade groups including the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association.
Discussion centered on supply chain problems in health care but also the role that oil and gas products play in both the physical composition of products — such as syringes and other plastics — as well as transportation amid rising fuel costs.
“Certainly, were seeing our economy… (an) increase in prices everywhere but also we know that causes a huge increase to health care,” Rapp said.
She said that “many of our constituents and citizens do not connect the dots” between the oil and gas industry and healthcare.
“More and more of our citizens are seeing an increase not just in everyday living but this cost to our healthcare is going to continue and continue and continue to increase,” she added.
Dan Weaver, PIOGA’s executive director, said there is “no substituting oil and natural gas in making every item of PPE (personal protective equipment).”
“As we hear continually that there are folks in the administration of Pennsylvania and in Washington who want to totally do away with fossil fuels,” Rapp said, “at this point in time we have no other source to replace natural gas and oil.”