Senator Lisa Baker: Shell Ethane Refinery

Harrisburg – Senator Lisa Baker offered the following remarks during floor debate on attracting an ethane refinery in Western Pennsylvania:

“My district is as far away as any from the prospective site of the ethane refinery. So the natural assumption is that the chances of economic benefits working their way out to our area are pretty remote.

It turns out, though, that this project is a winner for just about every part of Pennsylvania.

In northeastern Pennsylvania, there are dozens of plastics manufacturers – nearly 40 in Luzerne and Lackawanna counties alone – who now must bring raw material down from Canada or up from the Gulf Coast. Being able to acquire it from just across the state cuts shipping time and cost. A firm that can cut costs becomes more competitive on the prices for its products. More demand means more direct and indirect jobs.

One of the companies standing to benefit in this fashion is Proctor and Gamble. Located in Wyoming County, P&G employs more than 4,000 workers from every Senatorial District within a six-county radius. It is an economic engine in the region, contributing to the local economy, helping families to buy homes and send their kids to college, and investing in our communities through the United Way and other charitable giving.

The plant has already saved money by powering its operations through its own natural gas wells. Having ethylene for Pampers, and other products, closer to home adds to these savings, positioning them to expand to create even more jobs.

Another example is the PepsiCo production plant in Mountain Top, Luzerne County, which produces Gatorade for distribution throughout the Northeast United States. Recently a bottle manufacturer co-located next door to the facility to improve efficiency and reduce costs. These regional employers are better poised for future growth and viability.

Over the years, we have seen multiple economic strategies launched and countless incentive and assistance programs offered to try and jumpstart job creation. Few have had any hope of yielding the immense economic payoff anticipated for this project.

We can act decisively here to ensure a better economic future for all of Pennsylvania.”

Contact: Jennifer Wilson
(570) 675-3931

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