Misguided Protesters Unfairly Push Gov. Wolf to Shutdown ME2

Protesters are once again calling for the complete shutdown of Mariner East 2 pipeline, but this time they’re taking aim at Governor Tom Wolf to further their radical agenda.

Earlier this month Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission administrative law Judge Elizabeth Barnes issued an emergency order shutting down operations at Mariner East 1 and halting construction on part of Mariner East 2 and Mariner East 2X. The move, of course, is being praised by pipeline opponents. But now those against expanding infrastructure are calling on Gov. Wolf to do more, accusing him of not helping their cause.

While in Philadelphia, to discuss an unrelated initiative, these fringe activists with Food and Water Watch barraged Gov. Wolf, attacking him about Mariner East. They argue that Wolf has sided with Sunoco Logistics, at the expense of residents in Pennsylvania. A brazen allegation with no merit.

Let’s be clear, Judge Barnes’ ruling on this legally permitted project flies in the face of the rigorous and unparalleled review process these pipelines underwent before construction even began. Mariner East projects went through a 5-year process on the state, federal, and local level to obtain permits before even beginning construction.

Food and Water Watch continues to bury their heads in the sand and ignore the clear benefits of Mariner East. A study by University of Pennsylvania Kleinman Center for Energy Policy stated that “natural gas over the past decade has allowed Pennsylvanians to enjoy significant cost reductions versus the national average.”

Pipelines are not only helping the economy in Pennsylvania, they’re also increasing safety. According to a Washington Post piece “the rate of accidents per billion barrels is significantly higher for rail.” On average rail-transported oil has 10 to 20 times more accidents every year.

Opponents to this critical infrastructure continue to overlook these facts, clinging to misguided ideological views. Bullying officials is just another foolish attempt to halt a project that the courts have consistently sided with.