BLOG: Shell Cracker Plant a “Game-Changer” for Pennsylvania’s Economy

This week’s announcement that Shell Chemical will proceed with building a ‘cracker’ plant in Western Pennsylvania is a game-changer – both for the region and the commonwealth as a whole.

When I speak with industry leaders inside and outside of Pennsylvania, the message is consistent — getting Pennsylvania natural gas to market is too difficult. And that creates a real problem because taking gas out of the ground is only as good as that gas can get to market.

The new cracker plant in Beaver County will make plastics from gas extracted in Pennsylvania and help attract industries that use these natural gas byproducts for their products and services. Our investment in making this project a reality will pay dividends for Western Pennsylvanians now and for future generations to come.

The success of this project is part of a much-needed, longer term plan to translate our abundant resources to make Pennsylvania a leader in downstream production. The commitment of the Shell cracker plant in Western Pennsylvania is an important step toward this goal. This would be the first major U.S. project of its kind built away from the Gulf Coast region in the last two decades and provide significant benefits to current and future manufacturers in Western Pennsylvania.

The commonwealth engaged the company with the goal of creating jobs, spurring economic development, and taking the next steps to connect the energy industry with long-term, sustainable economic growth.

My administration is committed to creating jobs in the energy industry through responsible, well-regulated extraction and long-term, creative industrial growth.

We have worked to develop strategies for safe and responsible pipeline development that brings resources to markets and facilities and we have prioritized the Shell plant to show the world that Pennsylvania is a leader in energy manufacturing and downstream production.

I commend the work of Republicans and Democrats who fought tirelessly to make this project a reality. This was an all hands on deck effort for state government – from the last administration to mine, a lot of effort from the Departments of Community and Economic Development and Environmental Protection ultimately led to Shell’s final decision.

There is no doubt in my mind that Shell’s decision comes not just because of the rich resources available in the region, but because the consistent and constant partnership of local and state officials who supported the project along the way.

This is a big thing for Beaver County, and it is the biggest investment made in Pennsylvania since World War II. This is not just another manufacturing facility we were fortunate enough to land. This could lay the foundation for a whole new industry.

I look forward to working in a bipartisan way to grow this industry in way that bolsters the economy and protects the environment in Western Pennsylvania and across the commonwealth.

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