FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
State Rep. Jaret Gibbons
Gibbons: Cracker plant would spur massive job creation
from new industry in western Pa.
HARRISBURG, June 20 Ė State Rep. Jaret Gibbons joined other state officials and union leaders today at a Capitol news conference to discuss the thousands of constructions and permanent jobs that would be created by a new industry in the region if a petrochemical "cracker" plant is built in Beaver County.
"This is about creating jobs. The ethane cracker plant has the potential to produce an entirely new industry in western Pennsylvania and create more than 10,000 construction jobs and 20,000 permanent jobs," Gibbons said. "This project is the next step in our regionís economic growth from unconventional gas drilling and should encourage spinoff manufacturers and suppliers to locate here."
In addition to the 10,000 construction jobs that would be created, the cracker plant would have 400 direct workers and spur the creation of an additional 17,000 jobs at other manufacturers and businesses.
Gibbons said this new industry, which starts with the cracker plant, could revive manufacturing in southwestern Pennsylvania for the first time in decades.
"My father worked in a Beaver County steel mill, like most people of his generation, from the time he graduated high school until it closed in the early 1980s. My family believed in this region and stayed, rather than following the jobs to other states.
"All these years later, this new petrochemical industry will revitalize manufacturing and rejuvenate our small towns by creating the type of good-paying jobs we havenít seen since the decline of our steel mills in the 1980s. We have struggled to rebuild our communities, but with this new petrochemical industry our children and middle-class families will no longer need to leave the area to find family-sustaining jobs for generations to come."
Gibbons said the economic benefits from the Shell Chemical L.P. plant would be felt in Beaver County and throughout Pennsylvania for decades, which is why competition for the first cracker plant in the northeastern U.S. was intense.
Tax credits offered by Pennsylvania helped win that competition. The tax credits would be provided with a percentage of the new revenue generated by the industry starting in 2017 and not with existing taxpayer dollars.
Gibbons said the investment has no impact on the current state budget situation.
"This is a rare opportunity for our region to be home to a dynamic new industry that will benefit families and taxpayers for years to come."
Ethylene that would be produced by the Shell cracker plant is used in many bottles, pipes, toys, diapers, adhesives and other products.