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Deal struck on tax credit for ethane cracker plant in Beaver County

| Thursday, June 28, 2012, 6:30 p.m.

HARRISBURG — An agreement has been reached between legislative leaders and the governor on a tax credit for a petrochemical plant in Beaver County and others that may come to Pennsylvania, the governor's office said on Thursday.

Kevin Harley, spokesman for Gov. Tom Corbett, confirmed a deal on the so-called ethane cracker tax credit. Royal Dutch Shell plc has an option to purchase land near Monaca for the plant.

Corbett proposed a $66 million annual tax credit for Shell and other companies that can be lured to the state to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus shale formation.

The legislation removes the $66 million figure from the bill, which will be voted on as part of a tax code that accompanies the state budget.

Despite predictions there would be a House vote yesterday, that won't happen until today, said House GOP spokesman Stephen Miskin. The state budget must be approved by midnight Saturday.

Still, a printout of the final language in the bill was not available last night.

It was not clear whether the bill will start in the House or Senate.

The bill contains minimum standards to be met to get the tax credits, which are far below what Shell projects: $1 billion in project investment and the creation of 2,500 jobs. The Corbett administration has projected 10,000 to 20,000 jobs.

Quick action has been sought by Corbett to show Shell that Pennsylvania wants the plant and to ward off any attempts by other states to snag it.

Brad Bumsted is state Capitol reporter for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached at 717-787-1405 or bbumsted@tribweb.com.

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