Sen. Dinniman Using an International Crisis to Endanger Jobs

Calls to shut down construction of Mariner East masked as concern for public health are insensitive coming from the likes of Sen. Andy Dinniman. Anti-pipeliners have spent years reaching for anything they can to call for further delays of construction of the Mariner East pipeline. They have gone to great lengths, including the use of Pennsylvania tax dollars to do so.

Using the Coronavirus as justification is just their latest push and at a time when many Pennsylvanian’s are concerned about their jobs, Dinniman’s push to add these construction workers to the unemployment rolls is a low blow.

Many in Pennsylvania are faced with construction fatigue. The best way to solve for this is not further delays. It’s time we get this legally permitted project done.

On Monday, Governor Wolf provided guidance to businesses on what is defined as “essential” vs “nonessential” work, citing construction as “essential.”

Essential services and sectors include but are not limited to food processing, agriculture, industrial manufacturing, feed mills, construction, trash collection, grocery and household goods (including convenience stores), home repair/hardware and auto repair, pharmacy and other medical facilities, biomedical and healthcare, post offices and shipping outlets, insurance, banks, gas stations, laundromats, veterinary clinics and pet stores, warehousing, storage, and distribution, public transportation, and hotel and commercial lodging.

The pipeline operator even put out a release two days ago identifying prevention measures they are instructing workers to take including. Energy Transfer’s statement said:

We have directed all of our employees and contractors to follow guidelines from the CDC and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration on all possible precautions to protect personal and public health and safety while working within the project right-of-way, including prevention measures such as:

  • Implementing social distancing best practices;
  • Implementing good hygiene and infection control practices for workers and regular cleaning and disinfecting of work surfaces, equipment and other materials;
  • Restricting outside work site visitors and the number of personnel entering isolation areas;
  • Requiring workers to stay home if they are sick or they have been in contact with someone who is sick; and
  • Using additional engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices and personal protective equipment.

Sen. Dinniman’s push to shut the project down has been ongoing for years, without success. Today there are over 1,100 union workers across over 350 miles working and earning a living because of this project today.