Contact: Carl Romanelli, firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact: Katrina Brabham, email@example.com
The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA, www.gpofpa.org) opposes the development of a massive petrochemical “cracker” plant on the banks of the Ohio River near Monaca in Beaver County. The proposed Shell Oil Co. plant covering hundreds of acres, would convert natural gas liquids from Marcellus Shale into more profitable chemicals used in everything from plastics to tires to antifreeze.
The Corbett administration has announced plans to approve $1.65 billion in ethane tax credits over 25 years for the Shell Oil Co. facility, and both Republicans and Democrats in the PA Legislature have promised to pass this as part of the 2013 Pennsylvania budget. U.S. Senator Robert Casey claims he “fought hard” to bring Shell to Pennsylvania, while the Obama administration continues to push fossil fuels and nuclear power subsidies over cleaner alternatives. “Yet again we see the old parties marching to the orders of their common campaign contributors,” said GPPA Chair, Carl Romanelli of Luzerne County.
The Green Party opposes the Shell tax scheme for two general reasons. First, it is an environmental disaster, particularly for its connection to hydro-fracturing. “The Green Party of Pennsylvania opposes this project because it supports the fracking industry and fracking is fundamentally unsafe,” explained Chris Robinson of the Green Party of Philadelphia, www.gpop.org. “Natural gas extraction pollutes our land, air and most importantly, our water. The GPPA has been calling for a ban on fracking since 2009.”
Second, this plan is economically unsound as it fails to consider the real economic promise in new industries, while corporations force states to pile on the giveaways, or they will locate in another state. This creates competition among states for luring these polluting corporations, but it comes with a budget hole that must be made up in cuts to essential programs, or tax increases on Pennsylvanians. Such an approach represents backward priorities and offers no real sustainable path for economic, environmental, and energy security.
“All that this competition between states accomplishes is each of us fighting to cut off our noses faster than our neighbors and at the end of the day, Shell can still leave after 10 years and extort even more tax credits from us,” explained Katrina Brabham of Pittsburgh, PA Green Party Secretary. “This is just part of the economic race to the bottom that corporations have put us in.”
“This is just another outrageous example of corporate welfare,” stated Jay Sweeney, GPPA Steering Committee member from Wyoming County, “more tax breaks for profitable companies while the people who truly need relief get cuts in social services and education funding. The corporations then fund the campaigns of Republicans and Democrats alike. This is criminal and must be stopped.”
When asked for an alternative, Romanelli noted, “All of the industrial applications of this toxic process can be accomplished better through industrial hemp. Such an approach would not only be greener, but would offer a large scale job growth for Pennsylvanians; from the farm to the stores. It is time we had the discussion as to true alternatives to pollution and poverty,”
The Green Party of Pennsylvania is currently conducting a petition drive to get a Green presidential candidate on the ballot in November. The GPPA is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties and accepts no corporate contributions. The GPPA stands for ecological wisdom, grassroots democracy, social justice, and nonviolence.
For more information please visit:
Green Party of Pennsylvania, http://www.gpofpa.org/
Green Party of Pennsylvania Marcellus Shale Statement, http://www.gpofpa.org/index.php?module=htmlpages&func=display&pid=17
“Corbett Plan Hurts the Truly Needy,” The Morning Call, April 6, 2012, http://articles.mcall.com/2012-04-06/opinion/mc-general-assistance-bowditch-20120406_1_corbett-budget-plan-adults-community-agencies