PA General Assembly Passes Flawed Tax Credit Bill
HARRISBURG, PA - Today the General Assembly passed HB 1059, a bill that establishes and expands several state tax credits, some of which would benefit highly speculative petrochemical facilities and the fracked gas industry without regard for Pennsylvania’s environment, community health and safety, or climate change. The bill would award tax credits for the use of either “clean hydrogen” or fracked gas in hard-to-decarbonize industries like steelmaking. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) opposed HB 1059, which will now go to Governor Wolf’s desk where it is expected to be signed.
The following is reaction from Mark Szybist, Senior Attorney for the Climate and Clean Energy Program at NRDC:
“HB 1059 is a deeply flawed bill, chiefly because its new tax credits will provide massive financial support to petrochemical manufacturing and shale gas extraction unconditioned on either pollution limits or protections for communities where supported facilities will be located.
“The bill’s provision to establish a tax credit for clean hydrogen represents a huge missed opportunity for the state to leverage recently enacted federal clean hydrogen programs. Instead, it includes a massive loophole under which a steel or cement plant that might otherwise be subsidized for utilizing clean hydrogen that meets federal standards, could tap a subsidy for shale gas for decades, perversely driving more carbon pollution – not less.
“And adding insult to injury is the process by which HB 1059 was passed – the legislative language was released and voted on in less than twenty-four hours without a single hearing or opportunity for public input. This is a case study in how not to enact a law that’s in the interest of the people of Pennsylvania.”
NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.