Shell Oil wants to build an ethane processing plant in Western Pennsylvania. But: Can a massive fossil fuels conglomerate possibly turn a profit on something as risky as a natural gas derivative?

Under the deal, taxpayers would foot the bill for hazardous materials clean up at the western Pennsylvania site, a cost that could easily soar into the tens of millions, according to a report by CapitolWire news service.

[Pennsylvania Gov. Tom] Corbett officials told legislative staff that on top of the $1.65 billion in tax credits over 25 years starting in 2017, and other sweeteners that come with a tax-free Keystone Opportunity Zone, the state would be picking up the bill to clean up the waste from a zinc smelter site.

Whew! Sounds like Gov. Corbett was able to make something work. Someday we’ll figure out a system where our job creators — human-people and corporate-people alike — can create jobs without our giving them massive tax breaks all the time.

Until then: Good luck, Shell Oil Company, subsidiary of the second-largest company in the world! And God bless!

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