Pennsylvania Chapter Sierra Club

Save Our State

The 2012-13 state budget process is seriously out of whack.  State assistance to basic and higher education and public health programs are being cut. Environmental protection jobs are being cut. Our state forests are being leased to fill the Commonwealth's budget gap. In 2010, $265 million in state forest oil and gas leasing revenue went into balancing the budget.

Yet, the Corbett's administration seems to believe Pennsylvania taxpayers can afford an additional $1.65 billion tax break to build an "ethane cracker" refinery for fossil fuel giant Shell Oil Company in Beaver County. The Marcellus Gas Law (Act 13) already provided many incentives for the natural gas industry, including the Shell site as a Keystone Opportunity Zone, exempting it for a decade from all state and local taxes.  Now taxpayers are being asked to subsidize this venture for 25 years. 

Meanwhile, the Solar Jobs bill (HB1580), co-sponsored by a majority of state representatives, which would increase the num­ber of solar energy credits util­i­ties from Penn­syl­va­nia sources, is being blocked by Republican House leaders. This could result in PA's solar jobs moving to other states. 

We must remind our legislators that a "balanced" budget requires strong environmental protection as well as funding basic education, higher education and public health and safety programs. 

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Recipients

  • Your State Senator or Senators
  • Your State Representative or Representatives

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Message

Preserve Funding for Environmental Programs

Dear [Decision Maker],

Do not mortgage state's financial future for a promised ethane refinery. Tax credits that extend 25 years into the future do not help Pennsylvania's economy. Do not let our natural environment slip away due to a desire to promote more natural gas development in Pennsylvania.



We urge you resist the temptation to set aside fiscal prudence for a new refinery. Fully fund environmental programs which have made Pennsylvania a great state. Ensure that Pennsylvania is not left with empty tax coffers and costly environmental consequences.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]