Defending a proposed $1.7 billion tax break for a planned petrochemical refinery in western Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett said the facility would be a major step toward rebuilding the state’s manufacturing sector.
“My whole goal is to grow good, sustaining jobs for the people of Pennsylvania, not just today but for decades to come,” Corbett said in a radio interview. Shell Oil Co. has picked a site 35 miles northwest of Pittsburgh for its refinery, which would capitalize on the natural gas drilling that is rapidly expanding across the Marcellus Shale region. It has signed a land-option agreement that allows it to further evaluate the location.
The 25-year tax credit, worth as much as $66 million a year starting in 2017, requires legislative approval and would be added to other enticements the state is offering to seal the deal. Ohio and West Virginia included similar sweeteners in their unsuccessful bids for the refinery.
Corbett said the refinery would attract other plants that would create jobs and other spinoff benefits for the state’s economy. “What this is really aimed at is growing a manufacturing base all across Pennsylvania.”