HARRISBURG – As Gov. Tom Wolf’s threat to veto legislation (House Bill 1100) seeking to establish an Energy and Fertilizer Manufacturing Tax Credit in the Commonwealth is still looming, Sen. John Yudichak (I-Carbon/Luzerne) and Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne), the bill’s sponsor, stood alongside local laborers and business leaders to reinforce the positive impact this legislation will have on Pennsylvania’s economy and its workforce.
“House Bill 1100 is a billion-dollar investment in the Commonwealth that will spur economic development in northeastern Pennsylvania and bring thousands of good-paying jobs to the state,” said Yudichak. “Our neighboring states are already positioning themselves to lure these petrochemical manufacturers away from the Commonwealth. We cannot afford to let this opportunity slip away.”
“We are disappointed and shocked that the governor’s support for this legislation has wavered,” said Kaufer. “Opportunities for trade job expansion are on the line here. This bill has garnered overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, and has generated a lot of optimism among area and statewide manufacturers and unions. This bill is the first stepping stone in building fresh economic possibilities in Pennsylvania. Now is the time to act.”
Kaufer’s legislation was modeled after the Pennsylvania Resource Manufacturing tax credit that led to the Shell Cracker Plant investment in western Pennsylvania, a $6 billion investment and the largest construction site in North America employing roughly 7,000 people daily. House Bill 1100 focuses on manufacturing plants that will use “dry” natural gas. Plants that use natural gas synthesis to produce fertilizers and other products are designed to capture the majority of greenhouse gas emissions in their manufacturing process which helps dramatically reduce the facility’s carbon footprint.
“I cannot emphasize enough the relationship between House Bill 1100 and family-sustaining, blue-collar jobs,” said Anthony Seiwell, Business Manager of the Eastern Pennsylvania Laborers’ District Council. “When unemployment in multiple northeastern Pennsylvania counties sits above the statewide rate, it’s no time to turn down hundreds of prevailing wage construction jobs. Companies must pay construction workers the prevailing wage to receive the tax credit, and this historic requirement is one of the clearest reflections of House Bill 1100’s worker focus.”
“It has been said before – this tax credit further opens the door for manufacturers to not only establish roots here in Pennsylvania, but to generate large revenues, boost our region’s economy and provide vast opportunities for job growth,” said Kaufer. “Again, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for Pennsylvania, especially the northeast region, as it will also allow us to use cost-effective, accessible natural gas to compete with overseas manufactures.”