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Continuing Coverage Entry: Energy, Jobs and Tax Breaks

Written by Tim Lambert, witf Multimedia News Director | Feb 4, 2013 6:42 PM

StateImpact Pennsylvania is a collaborative project among witf in Harrisburg, WHYY in Philadelphia and NPR to cover Pennsylvania’s booming energy economy. The initiative seeks to inform and engage the public on energy issues through data analysis, accountability reporting and well-crafted broadcast and digital narratives. WHYY and witf maintain complete editorial control over the content.

StateImpact Pennsylvania reporters Scott Detrow and Susan Phillips took a comprehensive look at efforts to create thousands of jobs in the state by luring energy companies with enormous grants and tax breaks.  Here are five examples of their coverage:

Story 1

How much should a state pay to create jobs? Many people are asking that question, as Governor Corbett  calls on legislators to pass a $1.65 billion  tax break aimed at Royal Dutch Shell.  StateImpact Pennsylvania's Scott Detrow traveled to Beaver County, to find out how the proposal is playing in the community where Shell is considering building a major chemical processing plant.

Story 2:

Governor Corbett brought a lot of friends and some opponents to an event aimed at driving up support for a nearly $1.7 billion tax break he wants to give Royal Dutch Shell to build an ethane cracker plant in southwestern Pennsylvania.  StateImpactPennsylvania's Scott Detrow reports.


Story 3

 Pennsylvania’s Marcellus shale natural gas boom has drill rigs popping up all over rural parts of the state. Pipeline projects, truck traffic, and hotel construction has followed. Now, industry plans to build large-scale natural gas processing plants. State officials hope to create jobs. Industry wants a larger industrial infrastructure to develop the state’s shale gas reserves. Environmentalists wonder how those projects may impact air quality. StateImpact Pennsylvania's Susan Phillips reports.


Story 4:

As Governor Corbett and state lawmakers try to lure a natural gas processing plant to Beaver County, near Pittsburgh, others seek to revive a shuttered Sunoco refinery in suburban Philadelphia by connecting it to the shale gas boom. StateImpact Pennsylvania's Susan Phillips reports.

Story 5:  

Republican Governor Tom Corbett certainly can’t be accused of being a big spender. The 2011 budget he signed into law cut more than $1 billion in state funding, reducing funding for nearly every state department. This year’s budget, finalized last month, kept funding relatively level, but reduced spending for county-level public health programs, among other items. StateImpact Pennsylvania's Scott Detrow reports  that's not the case when it comes to energy companies.

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