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E-News from Congressman Murphy

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In This Week's Edition of E-News ...

Murphy Tours Communities Following Storms, Flooding

Miners, Local Workers Rally To Save Coal Jobs

Safe Pipeline Expansion Topic of Hearing

House Passes Revised Farm Bill

Extent of Chinese Cyber Espionage Exposed

Murphy Tours Communities Following Storms, Flooding
Thousands were left without power and many communities in the 18th congressional district have been heavily damaged by thunderstorms and microburst rains that rolled through the region on Wednesday. Communities including Elizabeth, McDonald, Midway, Peters Township, and Scott all sustained extensive property and roadway damage, while nearly 11,000 area West Penn Power customers were without electricity.

Rep. Murphy directed a quick response to the storms, updating residents using social media and fielding constituent issues through his Mt. Lebanon and Greensburg district offices.

On Friday, Congressman Murphy organized and led a tour to assess damage in Elizabeth where parts of Cemetery and Irwin Streets were washed away. Rep. Murphy brought officials from the Army Corps of Engineers to make recommendations on managing stormwater runoff and outline the next steps for development of a flood-prevention plan with Boro officials. Murphy was joined on the tour by Road Supervisor Jon Grossi, police officer John Snelson, EMS first-responder Chuck Smith, Councilwoman Ann Malady, Councilwoman Monica Douglas, and local families.

Additional working tours with officials and emergency responders in Bridgeville and Oakdale, where water rose three to four feet, have been scheduled throughout the weekend. Rep. Murphy is also working with communities to calculate damages in order to determine if home and business owners are eligible for help from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and FEMA.

Miners, Local Workers Rally To Save Coal Jobs
Costly new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency have resulted in thousands of jobs lost in the past two years. This week, 380 more workers became the latest victims in the "War on Coal" when they received notice that FirstEnergy would close its Mitchell Station and Hatfield's Ferry coal-fired power plants this October. The announced was covered by the Daily Caller.

Fighting back, Rep. Tim Murphy joined 150 coal miners, electricians, boilermakers, carpenters, and industry representatives for a Save Our Coal jobs Rally outside the Boilermakers Hall on Banksville Road in Pittsburgh on Friday.

"In the war on coal, we are not going to surrender, and you are the soldiers who are going to fight back," he said. Rep. Murphy emphasized the need to utilize the clean coal technology that already exists rather than close coal-fired plants that supply more than 44% of electricity to Southwestern Pennsylvanians and create thousands of jobs in mining, manufacturing, and transportation.

As Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee, Rep. Murphy has launched an investigation into the economic impact of anti-coal regulations. This week, Rep. Murphy wrote the acting administrator for the EPA requesting information on the methodology used to estimate the jobs impacts of new Clean Air Act rules. Last month, Rep. Murphy directed government auditors to review whether the EPA is engaged in secret legal proceedings with anti-coal groups that result in higher energy costs and fewer jobs.

Rep. Murphy also recently took to the House floor to speak out against the Administration's approach to coal and other fossil fuels. During his address, Rep. Murphy noted that if the "war on jobs" is successful, the United States will be even more dependent on OPEC and other foreign sources, many of which are hostile to American interests. "It won't just be coal miners who lose their jobs or boilermakers who no longer are building and maintaining power plants, but also thousands of laborers, electricians, operating engineers, steamfitters, welders, plumbers, carpenters, machinists, and railroad workers will be out of work -- real people, real faces, real families," Rep. Murphy said.

More information about Rep. Murphy's energy solutions can be found at

Safe Pipeline Expansion Topic of Hearing

As development of natural gas continues to grow in the Marcellus and Utica shale region, the need for safe pipeline infrastructure has become a heightened priority. Pipelines move gas from the place of production to where it needs to be supplied most, often hundreds, even thousands, of miles. But the lack of pipeline infrastructure has hampered expanded transmission.

In our region, more than 200 Southwestern Pennsylvanians have been hired in just the last five years by Alex E. Paris Contracting of Atlasburg to work on Marcellus Shale pipeline projects. There would be even more good-paying construction jobs but for excessive regulatory barriers, according to company owner and 18th district resident Alex Paris, who appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week to discuss the need to improve the permitting process.

Mr. Paris' testimony on the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act (H.R. 1900) coincided with Rep. Murphy's continued efforts to promote job creation from safe, responsible energy exploration. Murphy, a founder of the Congressional Natural Gas Caucus, introduced Mr. Paris, who lives in Avella (Independence Township, Washington County).

Mr. Paris' appearance was featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
The growth in U.S. natural gas production is driving the need for additional pipeline infrastructure. Despite development beginning as recently as 2007, the Marcellus Shale has already become the country's most productive natural gas field, supplying 29 percent of all shale gas in the United States. However, a December 2012 study found that pipeline permitting delays of more than 90 days have risen 28 percent nationwide since 2005. For example, Alex E. Paris Contracting Company is awaiting federal approval on an 8,000-foot pipeline extension in Saltsburg. The delay has resulted in furloughs for 30 employees.

The Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, which Rep. Murphy is co-sponsoring, would speed up the construction of new natural gas pipeline projects by modernizing the permitting process and removing needless bureaucratic delays without impacting safety. H.R. 1900 would spur job growth and provide greater certainty for interstate natural gas pipeline projects while preserving the environmental review processes.

The bill is scheduled to be considered by the full Energy and Commerce Committee this upcoming week.

House Passes Revised Farm Bill

The House of Representatives passed a reworked version of the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management (FARRM) Act on Thursday to authorize agriculture programs without the inclusion of food stamps or nutrition policy.

The revised measure consolidates over 100 programs and would repeal outdated portions of 1938 and 1949 agricultural laws that set subsidy levels for commodity crops and other agricultural products. According to Congressional Budget Office estimates, the bill adopted on Thursday will save taxpayers $12.9 billion over ten years from current law.

The House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas promised to bring up a separate bill dealing with reforms to nutrition programs and food aid for needy families in the fall.

Murphy, who since the original farm bill vote more than three weeks ago, has held town hall meetings and listening sessions with farmers from Washington, Greene, and Westmoreland counties. Their message was clear: pass a farm bill that provides our family farmers with certainty and future price stability while repealing the outdated subsidy payouts to large agricultural corporations.

Extent of Chinese Cyber Espionage Exposed

Theft of intellectual property and technology threatens US national security and costs customers and firms at least $300 billion every year. Cyber-theft is estimated to cost the US economy more than two million jobs.

As Chairman of the Oversight Subcommittee, Rep. Murphy convened a hearing this week examining the pervasive danger to domestic companies and US national interests due to cyber espionage.

Cybercrime is especially commonplace in China, which is responsible for up to 80 percent of international intellectual property theft. In his opening statement, Murphy explained how the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) runs sophisticated hacking operations to steal American business secrets.

"From defense contractors to manufacturers, no American company has been immune from the scourge of Chinese intellectual property theft," he said.

Three years ago, Chinese military hackers infiltrated the Pittsburgh location of QinetiQ, a manufacturer of high-tech robotic systems like the remotely controlled devices used to diffuse IEDs. Experts believe the Chinese hackers may have stolen code about QinetiQ's proprietary chip architecture, enabling the Chinese military to take over or defeat U.S. military robots and aerial drones.

Rep. Murphy has been aggressively pursuing rule-breaking by the Chinese government in intellectual property and other areas of commercial activity. For example, China manipulates its currency, a practice that has cost the United States more than one million manufacturing jobs. By devaluing its currency, China gives their exporters a 20 to 40 percent price discount against goods made in America. To stop China from cheating on trade, Rep. Murphy has co-authored the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act to classify Chinese currency manipulation as an illegal trade subsidy.

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