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 spending, 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.
There’s one exception to this bare-bones philosophy, though: the grants and tax breaks the Corbett Administration has directed to energy companies.
Here’s what Corbett has handed out since May:
- $30 million to Delta Airlines, for taking over ConocoPhillips’ Philadelphia refinery
- $25 million to Sunoco and the Carlyle Group, for overhauling and expanding Sunoco’s Philadelphia refinery.
- $15 million to chemical producer Braskem, which is purchasing Sunoco’s idled Marcus Hook location, and turning it into a natural gas-processer.
Corbett said the grants — which come with job-creation and investment conditions — are worth it. “When you’re looking at the investment you have to look at what it would have cost us had we done nothing, had we let these businesses go,” he argued during a press conference announcing the Marcus Hook deal. “But also, by growing the business. Pennsylvania is, in my opinion, the energy state.”