Originally Posted by Private Dick
Yay!... Can't wait for a brand-spankin' new polyethylene plant
Because that's what we really need -- more plastic bags for everyone and more pollutants in the region's already woeful air quality.
It goes right in line with Pittsburgh's claims of how "green" it now is.
You do realize that the proposed Shell ethylene cracker would make the raw materials for a hell of a lot more than plastic bags, right?
Honestly, while I'm not the world's biggest fan of huge petrochemical plants, this thing is going to be an enormous economic boost to the entire region, especially because it's going to draw so many related companies here as well. Some will be chemical plants in their own right, likely many others will be manufacturing. And most of the jobs will be the kind that have a very reasonable living wage, we're not talking fast-food wages here!
As for pollution, you do realize that EPA regulations put upon any sort of new industrial facility are extremely strict, right? We're not talking about smoke-belching, fume-inducing hellholes like those plants built 30-50 years ago. And this isn't an oil refinery where odors by their nature are produced. "Cracking" natural gas and its associated heavier liquids is nowhere near as inherently dirty as refining heavy oil.
I have no problem with the Pittsburgh area developing a chemicals-based manufacturing presence. Metro areas need diverse economies, and we're going to need a hell of a lot more than eds and meds to keep the economy going into the future. Manufacturing will need to continue to rebound, and increasing our energy presence will also continue to move the economy forward.
Besides, I'd much rather see natural gas-derived products than those derived from coal, which is inherently a MUCH dirtier process.
Face it, not everything's going to be solar, wind, geothermal, tidal or nuclear. Energy and other products derived from natural gas is an excellent intermediate step between dirtier energy production from coal and heavy oil (ie: tar sands) to cleaner and more renewable energy sources.