Considering that the Marcellus Shale extraction has created thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania, Senator Scott Hutchinson believes the industry can also serve as a catalyst for even more employment opportunities.
With that goal in mind, Senator Hutchinson introduced Senate Bill 886, legislation establishing the Pennsylvania Affordable Energy Development Zones Program as an incentive to create downstream manufacturing jobs and lift the economy in rural Pennsylvania by capitalizing on the growing unconventional natural gas industry.
“Pennsylvania’s rural areas have seen decades of plant closures, job losses, population declines and stagnant economic growth. In too many cases, the best hope for finding a decent job has been to relocate, leaving behind family, friends and hometowns,” Senator Hutchinson said. “Development of low-cost Marcellus Shale gas has given Pennsylvania a fantastic new opportunity for job creation even as we lead the nation toward energy independence. We need to attract industries to use this plentiful gas.”
Under Senator Hutchinson’s measure, new businesses setting up operations in Affordable Energy Development Zones would be given 10 years of state tax relief, provided they meet certain employment and capital investment thresholds. The exemption would only be available to new Pennsylvania businesses locating within a zone – not to businesses relocating from other areas of the Commonwealth unless a relocated business shows a net increase of job creation.
“My legislation would incentivize new businesses to locate in counties with natural gas producing wells, where they’ll have ready access to a low-cost energy source,” said Senator Hutchinson. “Many of these areas are regions that have been hardest hit by manufacturing losses. My bill provides an opportunity to reverse the trend of joblessness and poverty that afflicts much of rural Pennsylvania by reestablishing a manufacturing base.”
SB 886 is now before the Senate Community, Economic and Recreational Development Committee.
Contact: Justin Leventry (717) 787-9684