Tell your state Representative to oppose this out-of-balance give away.
As part of the budget process, it is likely that next week the state legislature will vote on the $1.7 Billion Tax Break for Shell’s proposed ethane cracker in Beaver County. Please call your state legislators to oppose this ridiculous deal for a company that made $31 billion in profits last year (and just coincidently made $300,000 in campaign donations to Corbett).
Below are Ten Reasons why Pennsylvania cannot afford this deal, as compiled by Myron Arnowitt of Clean Water Actionl.
- Shell is good at running profitable operations. They made $31 billion in profits last year. It’s hard to imagine they would build a plant that won’t make money. So, why do we have to give them $1.7 billion from PA taxpayers?
- Given the extreme cuts to the state budget, we clearly don’t have $1.7 billion just sitting around. Over the past four years, we’ve cut DEP’s budget 42% ($90 million). If we can’t afford to fund DEP, why can we afford to fund Shell?
- The $65 million annual tax credit for Shell that is proposed is more than half of the funding Gov. Corbett proposed for DEP this year, $127 million.
- Shell’s ethane cracker plant will be a big pollution source for southwest PA, probably as much pollution as all the other industrial sources in Beaver County put together. Given that much of southwest PA already does not meet federal Clean Air Act standards, someone is going to have to reduce their pollution – how much will that cost?
- The number of permanent jobs at the Shell plant (400-500) is actually less than the 600 jobs that Pennsylvania is losing from the closing of the Horsehead Corp. zinc smelter in Beaver County. Horsehead agreed to move their plant to North Carolina as part of the deal with Shell. Why didn’t we offer Horsehead $1.7 billion?
- At $65 million a year, Shell isn’t paying for the 500 jobs at their plant, the PA taxpayers are, to the tune of $130,000 per worker for 25 years. And this isn’t even considering the 15 year property tax free zone that we’ve already committed to Shell, and the report that taxpayers might have to clean up the contamination that Horsehead Corp. is leaving behind at the site (likely to cost millions).
- The indirect job claims being made are likely to be wildly exaggerated (see Pittsburgh Tribune Review article). Gov. Corbett’s own Dept. of Labor and Industry thinks there will be only 6,000 – 8,000 indirect, or multiplier jobs at best, not 20,000 as has been tossed around. In addition, we are not considering the indirect job loss when the 600 Horsehead workers get laid off.
- Of course, any $1.7 billion investment will create some indirect jobs – but why does it have to all go to one industry? Imagine if PA residents didn’t have to pay state sales tax for services or goods made by Pennsylvania companies – this would be an across the board boost to the economy – not a one shot deal to the second biggest company in the world.
- Shell hasn’t even committed to build their plant in Beaver County – even if we give them $1.7 billion! Shell has not committed to any specific number of jobs, or whether any of them will be union jobs. And they haven’t committed to installing state of the art environmental controls. If Gov. Corbett wants to spend so much of our money – why can’t he tell us what Shell will commit to?
- Shell has made $300,000 in campaign contributions to Gov. Corbett. Definitely a solid investment for Shell. FYI – this is part of the answer to the questions in Reasons #1, #2, #5, and #9.