Earl Baker, former Chester County commissioner and two – term state Senator, weighed in on the politicization of the Mariner East 2 project in a recent Delco Times guest column.
As Baker – and the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance – sees it, there is a distinct lack of civility and acknowledging facts. Instead, many pipeline opponents have resorted to extremes to express their opposition to the Mariner East 2 project.
Baker reminds readers “Do we have a civil discourse over a matter of public infrastructure policy and how it is implemented, or do we have name-calling and comparing hard-working pipeline employees with the Holocaust!” in reference to Representative Danielle Friel Otten’s Tweet likening pipeline workers to ‘Nazis.’
Outside of the political sphere activists have taken illegal actions to stop the project in three counties. Tactics include sabotaging heavy equipment, luring wild animals onto easements, and obstructing the entrances of work sites to keep workers from being able to work…all in the name of subverting the industry.
Baker outlines the safe nature of the project succinctly, “Pipelines are in fact the safest, as well as the most efficient, method to transport natural gas. Rail and trucks are the methods of the past. Permitting of Mariner East is highly regulated by both federal and state standards. And the Mariner East project uses an even heavier gauge steel, and is buried deeper, than required. And once completed it will be monitored 24/7 and regularly inspected.”
The rigorous permitting process and multi-level oversight agencies in charge of approving energy infrastructure projects like the Mariner East 2 pipeline guarantee top-notch safety. As Earl put it “It’s time to get politics out of the way and let them finish the job!”