PRA exec tells Senate hearing importance of federal energy tax credits

said Darlene Kooima, the city's human resources director. The city's human resources director, Darlene Kooima, said that tax credits are an important tool for the city.

PRA exec tells Senate hearing importance of federal energy tax credits

An important southwestern Pennsylvania official said at a U.S. Senate Hearing that federal funding for clean energy, among other things, has led to a rise in interest in large-scale development projects in former coal communities.

Patty Horvatich, SVP for Business Investment at the Pittsburgh Regional Alliance, a subsidiary of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, addressed the Senate Finance Committee on Washington, D.C., on how the Inflation Reduction Act, and other tax incentives, are bringing billions of dollars of clean energy into every state, including Pennsylvania.

Horvatich informed the senators about the federal funding provided through the Inflation Reduction Act, and other programs that are helping bring new projects and development to southwest Pennsylvania.

She said that the number of inquiries she received from site election consultants and end-users has dramatically increased in the last few months. This was in response to an inquiry from U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

In the question-and-answer period, Wyden asked Horvatich whether she thought that the repeal of tax credits would make bringing development and jobs more difficult.

She replied, "Yes, sir, you are right."

Horvatich spoke at the hearing after U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) praised Horvatich for his efforts to help lead the region during these difficult times.

Casey stated that she works with companies who are looking at many different sites across the country to show them why choosing southwestern Pennsylvania as a location is a good idea. He pointed out that Horvatich had been named twice as one of North America’s top 50 developers in a trade publication. Shell recognized Horvatich last year for being a driving force behind the decade-long development of its $6 billion petrochemical facility built in Beaver County.

Horvatich stated that energy communities have lost jobs in the past decade, including 3100 coal mine jobs and 900 coal-fired electricity plants. She added that this did not include the thousands indirect and induced employment related to the project.

She also noted that the coal-fired Homer City power plant, located in Indiana County, is scheduled to close soon.

Horvatich stated that this would mean more job cuts and layoffs.

She said the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, along with other local leaders, have helped diversify the regional economy, including advanced manufacturing, robotics, and space, all of which are supported by a highly-qualified workforce, and a robust R&D program at the University of Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University.

She said, 'Our region has been a pioneer and leader in key technologies'.

She said that the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) tax credits help her to redevelop coal sites and communities, and she believes this helps Pittsburgh to remain competitive globally.

She said that the IRA tax credit with bonus credits is another important tool in our toolbox.