Pennsylvania legislation to aid energy industry investments

09 February 2012 21:46  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Legislation aimed at creating and maintaining jobs in the energy industry was sent to the desk of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett for his approval, the bill’s author said on Thursday.

Senate Bill 1237 would expand tax benefits for a total of 15 years for businesses in designated zones that invest at least $1bn (€750m) and create at least 400 full-time, permanent jobs within seven years.

“This sends a strong message that Pennsylvania is open for business,” said Senator Dominic Pileggi, the bill’s author.

Pileggi said the legislation could help in restarting the two idled refineries in Delaware City and a third in Philadelphia, which is scheduled for shutdown in July.

The idled refineries are ConocoPhillips’ 185,000 bbl/day Trainer refinery and Sunoco’s 178,000 bbl/day Marcus Hook refinery. Sunoco’s 335,000 bbl/day Philadelphia refinery is scheduled to shut down in July.

Analyst Dan Lippe with Petral Consulting Company said it is reasonable that the timing and passage of this legislation would be an incentive for Shell Oil to construct its planned ethane cracker in Pennsylvania. Shell is considering Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania as possible sites for its project.

“States have to compete for major economic development and the one thing they have to offer is reduced property taxes,” said Lippe.

Depending on the situation, the tax burden may be reduced to zero through exemptions, deductions, abatements and credits, said Steve Kratz, the press secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development.

West Virginia passed a bill in January reforming tax policy to give incentives for construction of an ethane plant in the state.

By: Sheena Martin
+1 713 525 2653

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