HARRISBURG, Pa. – Members of the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance today applauded the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s decision to approve permits for the Mariner East 2 pipeline, allowing the project to proceed to construction.
“Like we have been saying for some time, we believe that this project will give Pennsylvania a great competitive advantage and continue to fuel regional revitalization,” said Delaware County Chamber of Commerce President Trish McFarland. “The permit approval allows us to now look forward to continued economic growth, not just in Delaware County, but across the state.”
Mariner East 2 will generate $4.2 billion for Pennsylvania’s economy and contribute $62 million in property taxes annually. According to Econsult Solutions, the project will create over 30,000 direct and indirect jobs, including 7,000 during the construction phase, relying on union labor, and approximately 300 to 400 permanent positions throughout Pennsylvania once the pipeline is operational.
“This pipeline is the missing link for the natural gas industry in western Pennsylvania,” said Washington County Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Kotula. “We’ll soon have the safe infrastructure we need to move our energy resources to market. Every community along the route will benefit.”
Mariner East 2 will deliver energy resources from the Utica and Marcellus Shale regions in Ohio, West Virginia and western Pennsylvania to Marcus Hook, Pa. The underground pipeline spans 350 miles. The project has received unprecedented regulatory review since May of 2014, and was the subject of numerous municipal and state-sponsored public hearings and forums during that time.
“Our guys are ready to get to work,” said Jim Kunz, business manager for the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 66 in western Pennsylvania. “Without the shale gas industry, our Local would have unemployment that’s 10 percent to 20 percent higher than it is today. Mariner East 2 will create even more opportunity.”
Using local trades on pipeline infrastructure ensures that the most qualified, best-trained professionals are hired to safely build the pipeline. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration identifies pipelines are the safest mode of energy transportation.
“I cannot stress enough that for thousands of workers across our state, these projects are not just pipelines; they are also a lifeline to family-supporting jobs,” said Abe Amoros, state legislative director at Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA!). “DEP made the right decision, one that is going to create jobs and bring long-term benefits to workers, consumers and businesses across Pennsylvania.”
LiUNA, IUOE Local 66 and the Delaware County and Washington County chambers of commerce founded PEIA in June 2016. The alliance is a broad-based coalition of labor, agriculture, manufacturing and other business interests that support private investment in pipeline and other energy infrastructure developments. PEIA has more than 30 members statewide.
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