Health Care - June 15, 2012

Corbett pushing for over $1 billion in chemical tax credits

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that on Thursday, Governor Tom Corbett and members of his cabinet attended a news conference in Beaver County to advocate for quick movement on the approval of “$1.65 billion in proposed ethane tax credits over 25 years in this year’s” budget.  The plan is for Shell Oil Co. to build a petrochemical “cracker” plant which would convert locally produced ethane from the Marcellus Shale gas production into ethylene, plastics and other materials.  Without the plant the ethane produced from the Marcellus Shale could be channeled north to Canada or to the southern United States along with “thousands of ethane related jobs.”  Governor Corbett has said that the plant could help “spark a reindustrialization of the state.” 

Shell and other users like it would receive tax credits for using Pennsylvania produced ethane; and most of those credits would get passed on to their suppliers and then the supplier’s customers.  The tax credit would be capped at $66 million annually for 25 years.  There is concern about offering such a large tax credit when the state is struggling with the budget and cutting human services and education; the other argument is that would be detrimental to not take advantage of the revenue and job creation opportunity that could serve the Commonwealth for years to come. 


PA Historical Museum Commission launches mobile application for historical markers

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) announced on Wednesday that access to state historical markers is now available on its mobile website., allows smartphone users to find and map over 2,300 historical.  The application uses GPS technology to locate the user and surrounding historical markers and also supplies driving directions to get there.  The website includes the 25 state-owned historic sites.  PHMC plans to add more functions and information to the website as more and more people use their smartphone to find information.