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Senate Deliberately Delaying Sending Bill Providing Unlimited Subsidies For Using Natural Gas In Manufacturing To Governor
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On February 4, the Senate and House took final action on House Bill 1100 (Kaufer-R-Luzerne) which would provide unlimited taxpayer-funded subsidies for natural gas use in manufacturing through a new tax credit. 

Normally, the last step before the bill is sent to the Governor for his action is for the House and Senate to formally sign the bill attesting to the fact it was adopted by both chambers.

In the case of House Bill 1100, however, the bill was signed in the House the same day-- February 4, but the Senate has not yet signed and therefore the bill cannot be sent to the Governor for his action, yet.

There is no doubt Senate Republicans delayed signing the bill so that union and other pressure can be generated against Gov. Wolf to sign the bill.

Gov. Wolf said he plans to veto the bill because he believes these kinds of projects should be evaluated on a specific case-by-case basis.

Before passing House Bill 1100, the Senate amended the bill to cut in half the investment a company would need to make and cut the number of jobs a company would have to create to qualify for the tax credit subsidy.

The Senate also changed the subsidy for the use of natural gas from 5 cents per gallon to 46 cents per unit of MCF (thousand cubic feet) of natural gas.

The bill is part of the House Republican EnergizePA natural gas subsidy package, which also includes legislation to take all environmental permit decision-making authority away from DEP.

Reaction

Earthworks' Pennsylvania and Ohio Field Advocate Leann Leiter released this statement on House Bill 1100--

“The Pennsylvania General Assembly showed short sightedness and a lack of political courage by voting to give away hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars to expand the oil and gas-fueled petrochemical industry, a costly move that would surely worsen the climate crisis and threaten the health of countless Pennsylvanians.

“The legislators who voted for this fossil fuel tax give-away--many of them from southwestern Pennsylvania where pollution and health problems from the industry are already rampant--have taken a reckless position.

“By promising blanket tax breaks without specific proposals on the table, they are giving industry a free ride and throwing open the doors to decades of climate and health-harming pollution.

“An expansion of plastics manufacturing in Appalachia could result in a fate similar to a petrochemical region in Louisiana infamously known as ‘Cancer Alley.’

“Fortunately, Governor Wolf has publicly promised to veto this bill.  Earthworks thanks him, and the legislators who did oppose this unnecessary and dangerous giveaway. We urge legislators to respect and sustain the Governor’s veto and recognize the concerns that many Pennsylvanians have for health, the climate, and their quality of life.”

(Photo: Shell Ethane Plant in Beaver County under construction- Public Source.)

NewsClips:

Op-Ed: Socialized Risk, Privatized Profits - HB 1100 Could Be Disastrous For Our State - Rep. Innamorato

Katie Meyer: Some Lawmakers Think They Can Override Wolf’s Veto Of Bill Giving Unlimited Subsidies For Using Natural Gas In Manufacturing

AP- Mark Scolforo: Gov. Wolf Plans To Veto Natural Gas Manufacturing Subsidy Tax Credit

Editorial: Republicans Say No Severance Tax, But Give Natural Gas More Subsidies

Lawmakers Send Natural Gas Use Tax Credit Bill To Wolf Who’s Promised Veto

Outgoing Speaker Turzai Proud Unlimited Natural Gas Subsidy Bill Going To Governor’s Desk

Laura Legere: Legislature Approves Natural Gas Tax Credit To Lure Petrochemical Makers To PA

Click Here To Support Local Journalism: Read PA Environment & Energy NewsClips

Related Articles:

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DEP Climate Committee To Hear Update On Climate Impact Assessment Focused On Achieving Water Quality Cleanup Goals, Infrastructure, Livestock Production Feb. 25

Penn’s Stewards: Climate Change: Managing Pennsylvania's Greatest Environmental Crisis

Feature: From The Ground Up - Energy Resilience Begins With Our Buildings

Congressional House Republicans, Climate Leadership Business Council Release Climate Proposals

[Posted: February 14, 2020]


2/17/2020

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