State Sen. Andy Dinniman hosted a telephone town hall meeting Wednesday night, inviting residents to sign up and submit questions that he would answer during the session, which was available online. Unsurprisingly, the senator mentioned the Mariner East pipeline network in his opening remarks, although there was no mention of the importance of this vast infrastructure project on Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance and other laborers wanted to know: “Have you considered the risk to the economy and hardworking families’ way of life if the legally permitted Mariner East projects shut down or construction stops? Not just along the line statewide, but for all the assets it supplies as well, like Marcus Hook and other offtakes?”
It’s a legitimate question, one that deserves to be answered.
The reality is, according to analyses, the Mariner East pipeline projects represent a one-time economic impact of nearly $9.1 billion in Pennsylvania, supporting 57,070 jobs during the entire construction period with earnings of $2.7 billion. Construction expenditures will generate estimated one-time tax revenues of $122 million to the commonwealth over the length of the construction period from the direct, indirect, and induced economic activity.
The importance of the project was validated in April when Energy Transfer and the Philadelphia Building Trades announced a Project Labor Agreement worth an estimated $200 million at the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex. Initial on-site growth projects are valued at $58 million; a second wave of construction projects is valued at $133 million. None of this would be possible without the Mariner East pipeline network that feeds Marcus Hook.
So what happens to these benefits if the pipeline is shut in or construction stops?
One thing is for certain: If this pipeline is halted, this product will be getting to market via trucks and rail that pass through southeastern Pennsylvania and other communities. Because it always gets to market. Those who are concerned about public safety should back pipelines, because pipelines are the safest, most efficient means of transporting Pennsylvania’s energy resources.
The senator likes to claim there are unanswered questions about Mariner East, even though regulators spent more than 20,000 hours on project permits and responded to 29,000 comments after a series of statewide public hearings as part of a multi-year review process. The real question is what workers and families will do if opponents succeed in shutting down a legally permitted, highly regulated project.
When the forum ended, the senator promised responses to questions that didn’t get answered. The skilled laborers working on the pipeline look forward to hearing from him.
If you are writing about this resolution, please feel free to use any of this content and attribute it to me, Kurt Knaus, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance.
For the last four years, the Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance has advocated for the safe, responsible development of critical infrastructure and boosts in economic activity. If you are using any of this information, please feel free to quote, Kurt Knaus, as PEIA spokesman.
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