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Shell’s Illusion of Economic Growth: Polymers Plant Leaves Beaver County High and Dry

Posted by John Donovan July 5, 2023

In a stunning turn of events, the Shell Polymers plant in Monaca, Beaver County, has failed to deliver the economic prosperity that was promised, according to a study conducted by the Ohio River Valley Institute. It seems that while the plant boasts a workforce of around 600 employees, it has actually resulted in a net loss of jobs and hindered economic growth in the county.

The researchers behind the study used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics spanning from 2012 to 2022, leading them to the undeniable conclusion that Shell’s presence has had a detrimental impact on the local economy.

The study pulls back the curtain and reveals the truth: it’s actually a terrible deal for your local economy according to the lead researcher, sarcastically exposing the ugly reality behind Shell’s grand promises.

Beaver County has witnessed a decline in its GDP, and its recovery from the pandemic has been notably slower compared to the state and the country as a whole. While Pennsylvania and the nation experienced growth, it seems that Shell took advantage of the state by securing massive tax subsidies totalling a staggering $1.6 billion to construct the 386-acre cracker plant.

However, since the project’s announcement in 2012, Beaver County has suffered job losses and business closures, painting a rather bleak picture. The Shell plant has achieved the extraordinary feat of making people flee from Beaver County, rather than fostering economic growth and activity.

Interestingly enough, this inconvenient truth contradicts a Shell-commissioned study conducted by Robert Morris University (RMU) in July 2021, which asserted that the plant would generate approximately $3.7 billion in annual statewide economic activity.

Shell spokesperson Curtis Thomas, when confronted with the recent findings, was quick to point to the RMU report, highlighting that Shell’s presence is expected to generate a whopping $80 billion in revenue over 40 years.

Thomas suggests that the critics should focus on reports that solely concentrate on Shell’s projected effects rather than considering the multitude of other factors. After all, why bother with the harsh reality when one can cherry-pick a report that conveniently aligns with Shell’s self-serving narrative?

Right of Reply: Shell is invited to bring any factual inaccuracies to our attention for correction. Closing comments from Shell will be included in this article unedited, as we eagerly anticipate their unique perspective on this matter.


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