Beaver County Officials Don’t Think Wolf’s Tax Will Kill Shell Cracker

Let’s do some simple arithmetic and use some basic logic. If you drill less Marcellus and Utica Shale wells, you get less natural gas and gas liquids–like ethane. If you have less ethane, and if there’s already several pipelines flowing that lesser amount of ethane out of the region, you don’t have much left over to feed a big ethane cracker plant–like the one Shell is considering for Beaver County, PA. Make sense? It does to PA’s new Senate Majority Leader, Jake Corman, who said a proposed severance tax–that would cause drilling to drastically be scaled back–may kill the Shell project (see New PA Senate Leader Says Severance Tax Could Kill Cracker Plant). Although Democrats like PA Gov. Tom Wolf don’t like the fact that actions (and not good intentions) have consequences, they do. And a severance tax will drastically reduce the number of new Marcellus wells drilled in the state, and cause a decrease in the amount of ethane being extracted. Local business and political leaders in Beaver County don’t quite see it that way though…

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