Commonwealth rules against Dinniman and denies his legal standing to question pipeline safety

The Pennsylvania state Commonwealth Court ruled that Sen. Andy Dinniman, does not have the authority to file a formal complaint against the Mariner East pipeline project. The multi-billion dollar pipeline project can now continue construction that was halted due to Dinniman’s challenge.

Dinniman has been an opponent to the Mariner East pipelines and filed complaints with the Public Utility Commission (PUC) on behalf of his constituents in April 2018. While he believed he was protecting the constitution, the delay of construction deprived his constituents of economic opportunity and forced expenditure of public funds to cover his legal fees.

Sen. Andy Dinniman should pay the Commonwealth back for his groundless claims and waste of public funds. Anti-pipeline activists like Dinniman continue to ignore the facts about pipeline infrastructure. Pipelines are the safest way to transport natural gases and there are substantial safety protocols in place with 2,000 local first responders specifically trained for pipeline incidents. Sunoco/ET is committed to pipeline safety and supporting the locals who interact with the pipelines everyday.

Mariner East has received unprecedented public scrutiny and the company goes above and beyond what is required to ensure the safety of the pipeline during construction and once in operation. However, challengers continue to try to halt the pipeline, even though courts continue to rule in Mariner East’s favor. In fact, pipeline opponents have been turned back by the courts in every single instance to date.

In a statement regarding the ruling, Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance’s spokesperson Kurt Knaus noted, “It is our hope that this affirmative ruling finally puts to rest the many baseless claims of legal improprieties that a few anti-pipeline activists have tried to raise about this project. We continue to see the courts rule in favor of the pipeline because it is a legally permitted project that underwent years of public scrutiny before a shovel ever hit the ground, and it continues to be tightly regulated.”

Mariner East is eager to complete pipeline construction, but is also still dedicated to pipeline safety. Cooperation and communication between Mariner East and the surrounding community is crucial to the success of the project and the economy in the region.