Mr. THOMPSON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, GE Transportation, a division of General Electric, is a locomotive manufacturing facility in Lawrence Park, Erie County, which is located in Pennsylvania's Fifth Congressional District. The plant is one of the largest employers in the county with over 5,500 employees.
Earlier today, GE announced its intent to restructure operations, which could result in over 950 employees being impacted--a tremendous loss for Erie County, especially for the individuals and families directly impacted. Company officials cited ``lower order and production volume within locomotive and mining businesses due to decreased coal demand'' as the justification for the decision.
GE supplies locomotives to the freight-rail industry, which has relied more on coal than any other commodity. The announcement is another reminder of how the administration's regulatory agenda is impacting more and more businesses connected to the coal supply chain. Equally so, it raises questions as to what the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania can do to become more competitive and improve business retention.
While this is a major upset and I am extremely disappointed, in moving forward we must pull together as a community and support those who have been affected by this decision.