Billions in subsidies go to polluting Pennsylvania plant

(The Center Square) – Though state governments promise all sorts of benefits when they offer tax breaks to a factory, the financial help rarely gets revoked if environmental rules get violated.

A new report from the Environmental Integrity Project found that, among 50 plastics plants built or expanded in America, 64% have taken government subsidies and 84% have violated their air pollution limits.

Those plants have pocketed $9 billion nationally in various subsidies. “Too many of these companies frequently violate their air pollution control permits, often releasing hazardous chemicals that risk the health and safety of nearby communities,” the report noted.

Much of the growth in the plastics industry centers in Texas and Louisiana – the largest subsidy, $3.5 billion, went to a petrochemical plant in Lake Charles. 

The second-biggest payout, however, was $1.7 billion siphoned from Pennsylvania taxpayers. Those subsidies and tax breaks went to Shell for an ethylene and plastics plant near
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