Big Green Pipeline Demagogues Act Up Against Mariner East 2

delaware riverkeeper - Jim Willis reports

Jim Willis
Editor & Publisher, Marcellus Drilling News (MDN)

… 

Food & Water Watch and other Big Green groups, who are more red than green, acted up in Harrisburg this week in opposition to the Mariner East 2 Pipeline.

A group of anti-fossil/anti-pipeline radicals held a rally Wednesday to spread lies and innuendo about the safety of pipelines in general, with a focus on stopping construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline project in particular. Supposedly 150 people turned up (including Democrat lawmakers) to bash pipeline projects in the Keystone State. What mainstream media reports don’t tell you is that it was a staged event, organized by the loathsome Food & Water Watch – a Big Green group that lobbies against all fossil fuel projects.

Media reports tell you a bunch of moms and dads and kids “negatively impacted” by pipelines showed up to plead their case. Bunkum. It was a publicity stunt, and the calls by these radicals to suspend pipeline construction are a pipe dream (pun intended). Here’s how it was reported, followed by the real story.

Mariner East 2

Manipulating children to do pipeline demagoguery – how low can thy go?

Here’s how WHTM Channel 27 in Harrisburg mis-reports the news of the FWW rally:

David Mano stepped to the podium in the Capitol Media Center and held up a Mason jar filled with a cloudy liquid.

“This is what we were drinking,” Mano said.

He choked back tears when he noted that it took days for his family to realize that their Chester County well had been compromised by pipeline construction. They drank it, he said, bathed in it, and watered their organic garden with the murky fluid.

“We have no idea what the water has done to us,” he said.

Mano was among dozens of Chester and Delaware County residents in Harrisburg Tuesday in support of several bills that would tighten restrictions and requirements for pipeline construction and give local municipalities the ability to tax them.

“My children’s school is a mere 100 feet from these pipelines,” said Melissa DiBernardino. She questions the wisdom and safety of putting pipelines close to homes, schools and senior centers.

“Without warning, a colorless, odorless, highly flammable, and heavier-than-air vapor cloud could form from a leak which could then be ignited by something as simple as a cell phone or doorbell,” DiBernardino said.

Many of the residents are nearly combustible, frustrated at what they believe is lax oversight of pipeline construction and indifference by governmental agencies to their concerns. They brought several school children to the Capitol to deliver a petition with 6,000 signatures and another 1,200 cards to Gov. Tom Wolf’s office.

They are seeking a “pause” in pipelines until the full extent of the public danger can be assessed.

“We are probably the weakest of any state when it comes to regulating pipelines,” said Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) who organized the event. He was joined at the news conference by Sens. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) and John Rafferty (R-Montgomery/Berks/Chester).

There was bipartisan criticism of the Department of Environmental Protection and state oversight of the industry.

A single RINO (Republican in Name Only) shows up from the Philadelphia area and the rally is “bipartisan.” Rubbish. This was a Democrat event, organized by Food & Water Watch to target the Mariner East 2 project, as you can deduce from the FWW press release issued:

Families impacted by construction of the dangerous Mariner East 2 gas liquids pipeline were joined by three state senators at press conference in Harrisburg today, where they called on Governor Wolf to halt the project.

Senator Dinniman and spokespeople for the group, DelChesco United for Pipeline Safety, pointed to Emergency Preparedness provisions in the State Code to demand that the pipeline be halted. Governor Wolf has yet to respond to this demand.

At the morning conference in the state capitol, State Senators Dinniman, John Rafferty, and Daylin Leach voiced their concern over the construction of Sunoco’s gas liquids project, and stood with community leaders urging Governor Wolf to stop the pipeline’s construction. Mariner East 2 has been the source of intense local opposition in communities around the state. Construction has already resulted in over 100 spills.

“Governor Wolf, you are not in compliance with Pennsylvania’s Health and Safety Statute and we demand that you halt the construction and operation of Sunoco’s Mariner East Pipeline. We demand that you choose our children’s safety, our communities safety, the safety of all Pennsylvanians over corporate profit,” said Melissa Dibernadino, a mother of five, resident of East Goshen Township, and leader of DelChesco United, who spoke at the press conference.

“The primary purpose of Sunoco’s proposed Mariner East system is not to provide fuel or energy or jobs for Pennsylvanians or Americans. Rather, it is to transport byproducts of fracked gas production to Sunoco’s export terminal on the Delaware River for shipment overseas,” said Eric Friedman, a Delaware County landowner and the president of the Andover Homeowners’ Association. “I am here to ask for, to beg for, to demand from Governor Wolf, an assessment of the risk this project poses to our children, and to insist that, before the project proceeds one inch further, that this risk is mitigated.”

After the rally, residents–including families with young children–walked to Wolf’s office to deliver a petition with over 6,000 signatures, along with handwritten postcards and letters from impacted residents.

Senator Dinniman also supported a suite of legislation that would close many loopholes that Sunoco has exploited in the Mariner East project. He called on Governor Wolf to halt the project several times during the press conference.

“The one person who can take immediate action to keep our communities safe is Governor Tom Wolf, and there is still time for him to do the right thing,” said Sam Rubin, Food & Water Watch organizer. “For the sake of the safety of the communities threatened by the Mariner East 2, Governor Wolf must halt this pipeline.”

The Mariner East 2 is a 350-mile pipeline that would carry volatile gas liquids across the state of Pennsylvania, terminating at the Marcus Hook facility south of Philadelphia. Given the proximity of houses and schools to the pipeline route, and the safety record of Sunoco, the project poses a serious and imminent safety risk to communities across the state.

Collusion between Democrats and Big Green groups. What’s new?

Mariner East 2

And, then, there’s this pablum from the West Chester (PA) Daily News:

More than 150 residents rallied and pushed for Gov. Tom Wolf to improve pipeline safety, Tuesday, at the state Capitol building.

Moms and dads caravanned from Chester and Delaware counties, bringing along more than a dozen grade schoolers, in a bid to have their voices heard and make pipelines safer.

Elected officials spoke at the Capitol’s packed media room and then headed over to the governor’s office where students presented hand-inscribed shoeboxes containing post cards urging the governor to act.

A petition signed by 6,000 residents was also presented to the governor’s staff. Residents then lobbied individual elected officials.

State Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19, told the standing-room-only audience that the best way to make the Sunoco Mariner East 2 pipeline safer was for Wolf, and the executive branch, to put a halt to the 350-mile long pipeline now under construction.

“So what if it’s delayed a month or two?” Dinniman asked. “Don’t we count?”

Dinniman noted that pipeline companies “can have their cake and eat it too” as long as safety doesn’t take a back seat.

“You can have your profits, but the state makes sure they are not at the expense of safety,” Dinniman said. “They can make profits but not at the expense of the health, safety and the environment.”

State Rep. Carolyn Comitta, D-156, lobbied for better communication between stakeholders.

“What can we do to make sure that public safety is number one?” Comitta asked. “We can share and talk about important public safety together.”

Dinniman addressed the issue of eminent domain which was established for the Mariner pipeline right of way during the 1930s.

“Does a corporation have a right to take your land and put a pipeline in when it feels like it?” Dinniman asked. “There is nothing as sacred in the community as private property rights.

“The environment belongs to all of us.”

David Mano is the lone holdout in his West Whiteland neighborhood. He refused to take a $60,000 payout from Sunoco and a free public water hook up after sediment appeared in his drinking water in early July.

Mano held up a jar of cloudy water, and a second jar full of sediment collected from his home water purifier system, that even those in the back row could clearly see.

“We’re going to fight Sunoco and the pipeline,” Mano said, with a tear in his eye. “We shouldn’t have to be living with this.”

State Sen. John Rafferty, R-44, and Dinniman have together penned several pipeline-related bills.

“When we started to have issues, I immediately knew it was the fault of the commonwealth,” Rafferty said. “Too many agencies have their hands in the operations.

“Too many agencies will lead to trouble. We need legislation that will protect us, the companies, the workers and the safety of all involved.”

State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, said that residents need to have “a say and a seat at the table.”

“What is an acceptable risk?” he asked. “If it was your child, what would the acceptable risk be?” (3)

And, so it goes. Click the link above to finish reading this biased article. Make no mistake. These people don’t want to push the pause button “for a few months.” They want ME2 and other pipeline projects stopped cold–permanently. That’s the agenda.

Fortunately the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance (PEIA)—a broad-based coalition comprising labor, agriculture, conservation, manufacturing, retail and other business groups focused on increasing access to affordable natural gas and natural gas liquids—spoke truth to power with respect to this sham rally. The PEIA issued this statement following the FWW dog and pony show in Harrisburg:

Even though study after study shows that pipelines are the safest, most efficient way to transport energy resources, a small group of legislators and pipeline opponents gathered in the state Capitol on Tuesday, Oct. 17 in an attempt to halt pipeline drilling and construction activities throughout the commonwealth.

Already well under construction, Mariner East 2 represents one of the biggest economic opportunities Pennsylvania has seen in generations — a $3 billion investment that will create over 30,000 jobs and generate $4.3 billion in economic activity. The $3 billion Atlantic Sunrise pipeline, which recently began construction, is expected to support 8,000 jobs, with construction activities generating about $16.9 million in additional state taxes and supporting a payroll totaling about $501.6 million during the construction phase alone. Both projects pass through the mid-state.

Members of the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance (PEIA) have crisscrossed Pennsylvania to support pipeline projects and promote private investments that will help to build out the state’s infrastructure network, with members offering testimony and public remarks at numerous federal, state and local public hearings and forums in dozens of communities in counties across the state.

Regarding the most recent attempts by opponents to halt construction, please find the following statement, which can be attributed to PEIA spokesman Kurt Knaus:

“Despite the strict, lengthy regulatory process already in place, and with pipeline construction under way, opponents continue every effort to stop or delay these projects. Pipelines remain the safest and most efficient way to transport our energy resources to supply consumers, manufacturers, and big and small businesses alike. The benefits aren’t off in some distant location or far off in the future. They are happening right now and already providing huge benefits locally. Unfortunately, there is nothing pretty about large construction projects — whether you’re building a highway or developing a pipeline. And make no mistake about it: these pipelines are major infrastructure projects. But best management practices like horizontal directional drilling actually limit environmental impacts. In all cases, regulatory requirements and oversight are strict. Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline was the subject of numerous local and state-sponsored public hearings and forums over the course of more than three years, and was approved only after intense regulatory scrutiny. Atlantic Sunrise was subject to the same scrutiny.”

Opponents have questioned the use of horizontal directional drilling (HDD), which is being used to minimize the impact of construction to environmentally sensitive areas. HDD is an industry best practice. The alternative option of open cut trench installation would have a much greater negative impact to Pennsylvania’s wetlands, steams, and other environmentally sensitive areas.

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The post Big Green Pipeline Demagogues Act Up Against Mariner East 2 appeared first on Natural Gas Now.

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