On December 3, 2015, House Bill No. 1731, also called Keystone Energy Enhancement Act, sponsored by Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Turzai, was referred to the House Commerce Committee. The main purpose of this Bill is to establish a program supporting employment opportunities and capital investment within Pennsylvania’s natural gas, manufacturing, and petrochemical industries.
H.B. 1731 provides for the creation of a Keystone Energy Authority responsible for administering the program. The Authority would designate specific zones across the state subject to enhancement. H.B. 1731 provides three general criteria to qualify for a zone designation: a proposed zone must “(1) Have the potential to provide manufacturing business, petrochemical business or downstream business opportunities. (2) Consist of deteriorated property. (3) Have substantial real property with adequate infrastructure and access to natural gas and natural gas liquids to support new or expanded development” as well as additional requirements.
Furthermore, the program would provide state and local tax benefits to eligible natural gas, manufacturing, petrochemical and downstream businesses, such as “tax exemptions, deductions, abatements, and credits for a 10 year period beginning January 1, 2017.” These businesses would also receive tax benefits depending on their employment rate.
If passed, the Keystone Energy Enhancement Act would become immediately effective following the Governor’s signature.
Written by Chloe Marie - Research Fellow