Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett continues to push hard to get his package of tax incentives for a Shell ethane cracker plant passed before the state legislature goes on summer break at the end of June. Looks like it’s paid off. Word has come out the legislature will pass his proposed package.
Flanked Wednesday afternoon by two dozen supporters of the plan, including Democratic and Republican lawmakers and labor and business leaders, Corbett urged the legislature to approve a $1.65 billion economic-incentive package to seal a deal with Shell Chemical L.P. that he said would "reindustrialize" the state.
"We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to bring a project to Pennsylvania that will be the single largest industrial investment in the state in more than a generation," Corbett said at a Capitol news conference. "We are investing in a new industrial revolution and we are investing in the opportunity for thousands of Pennsylvanians to have a good job."
By Wednesday night, legislative leaders in effect answered his call. At a joint news conference with Corbett to tout progress on budget negotiations, they said they had a deal on tax credits for Shell that will be approved before the summer break.
At the same news conference, Corbett addressed the question of so-called “corporate welfare”—that somehow PA is taking money away from taxpayers to give Shell. He said:
"For the general public, that might be hard to understand because … they think we’re giving money to them," Corbett said. "No, we’re not. What we’re saying is, ‘You build it. You provide all these jobs for all these people, and we’ll take a little bit less money from you so that we have more money for us.’"
*Philadelphia Inquirer (Jun 21, 2012) – Corbett pushes hard for petrochemical plant