Letter to PUC over Recent Ruling by ALJ on Mariner East Pipelines

A letter submitted to the PUC asking to throw out a recent ruling by the ALJ that defied recent findings and a subsequent ruling by the PUC.

Dear Secretary Chiavetta:

On behalf of the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance, a group that supports investments to modernize energy infrastructure and ensure reliable access to the low-cost energy that powers our local economy, I am urging the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to stand by its original May 3 order regarding the operation of Sunoco’s Mariner East 1 pipeline.

A recent order by Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth Barnes — an order that comes less than one month after the PUC’s own unanimous decision — runs counter to other court decisions in general about this project, differs in opinion from expert regulators at both the state and federal levels, and fully contradicts what the PUC’s own Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement found related to the safe operation of Mariner East 1. PUC’s BIE noted that it is “of the opinion that the integrity of the ME1 pipeline has not been compromised by the soil subsidence events that triggered this investigation, and consequently I&E does not oppose SPLP’s request to resume transportation service on its ME1 pipeline.”

This decision affects the workers who are building and operating the lines, and it could have serious consequences for the state’s energy markets if the stoppage is protracted.

The administrative law judge’s ruling upends the rule of law and clouds established regulatory protocol with uncertainty. On behalf of PEIA, which represents a broad range of interests and industries that are united behind the idea that a strong energy infrastructure is critical to the commonwealth and its residents, I urge the commission to uphold and stand by its unanimous May 3 decision allowing Mariner East 1 to return to service.


Kurt Knaus, Spokesman

Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance