Governor Corbett Tours Calgon Carbon's Ultraviolet Technologies Division in Coraopolis
Governor Tom Corbett said he has been visiting private sector employers around the state in the past two weeks because he believes the role of government is to create an environment where they can be competitive with other companies in the U.S. and the world. To keep and attract companies, the state must help keep their costs, i.e. taxes, down.
The governor also used the occasion to explain his proposed budget and to defend cuts, such as those to higher education. He said families should ask schools why they don't cut costs instead of raising tuition when the state doesn't have the funds to match what was given in prior years. Using Penn State as an example, Gov. Corbett said Pennsylvania taxpayers gave the university $3.5 billion in the ten years prior to last year, yet tuition still went up 110%.
Corbett suggested the state's higher education facilities need to adjust their programs to the 21st century, where there are not enough engineers and technicians. He pointed out that Pennsylvania graduates 12,000 teachers a year, even though there are vacancies for only 3,000.
Asked about transportation funding, Corbett said legislators face some tough decisions in an election year. While construction costs keep going up and cars become more and more fuel efficient, he noted the gasoline tax has remained the same.
The governor said there's not much he can say about what the state has offered to attract the Shell ethane cracker because the negotiations are confidential, but he thinks Western Pennsylvania is attractive because of its location, its work force, and its quality of life.
UV technologies are used for disinfection of drinking and waste water and treatment of ships' ballast water — discharges of which have introduced invasive species into U.S. waters, such as zebra mussels and Asian carp. Calgon Carbon officials say when international standards are ratified, the market for ballast water treatment systems could amount to $20 billion.