Commonwealth Court the Latest to Rule that Sunoco is a Public Utility

The only remaining question is whether fringe activists will discontinue obstructing critical projects for Pennsylvania

Earlier today, the Commonwealth Court confirmed Sunoco Logistics status as a “public utility corporation.” This is a status granted to Sunoco many years ago and it has been confirmed by a number of courts in Pennsylvania over the last two years. Unfortunately, this “public utility” status has been fought by anti-progress, fringe activists and trial lawyers just to obstruct an important project for Pennsylvania.

Sunoco Logistics, a Pennsylvania-based company, is working to begin construction of their Mariner East 2 pipeline, which will move natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations in Western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Marcus Hook is strategically located along the Delaware River and is a facility that can process, store, and transport these important energy resources to market.

According to the court’s ruling, “The PUC already has determined a public need for the pipeline.” This pipeline is necessary for transporting propane, particularly in the winter, from the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex to regional domestic markets. Those opposed to projects like this, have proven to be opposed to nearly all projects that have countless direct and indirect benefits, like Mariner East 2. They have attempted to obstruct approval of the project at every possible juncture and like the question about “public utility” status, when their tactics prove unsuccessful, they look for alternative ways to create further delay.

Today’s ruling by the Commonwealth Court should be the final word on this question; however with trial lawyers involved, appeals are likely.

The Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance is hopeful that projects like Mariner East 2 can begin construction soon and without further delay. According to the Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Material’s Safety Administration, pipelines are the safest mode to transport energy resources. With countless Pennsylvanians in need of propane to heat their homes during the winter to the large reliance the Commonwealth’s economy depends on manufacturing, which is an energy-intensive sector, increased energy infrastructure development is critically important.

Our hope is that obstructionist delay tactics will not get in the way of this or future projects.