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Gulf Coast Petrochemical Buildout Draws Billions in Tax Breaks Despite Pollution Violations

Summary

Despite regular violations of pollution permits, a new report by the Environmental Integrity Project reveals that the booming petrochemical buildout on the Gulf Coast has attracted billions of dollars in public subsidies from state tax abatement programs. The report identifies 50 plastics complexes built or expanded since 2012, with Texas hosting 33 of them, drawing $1.65 billion in property tax breaks. However, these tax incentives, while representing a small fraction of Texas' annual tax revenue, result in significant losses for public schools and services. Furthermore, the report highlights the failure of state programs to hold industries accountable for compliance with pollution control permits, with 84% of plastics plants reporting violations. Despite these violations, companies continue to receive tax subsidies, raising concerns about public health and environmental justice in affected communities.

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