An April 9 Philly Inquirer opinion column makes some lofty and misleading allegations regarding the permitted construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline. Adding to the long string of misinformation regarding the project, the latest claims suggest Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf pressured the state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) into expediting the review of the project. Ironically, Gov. Wolf halted a number of Sunoco/Energy Transfer’s permits earlier this year pending further review, which opponents hailed as a victory.
Now these same skeptics claim he is under the thumb of the pipeline developers?
The reality is quite different. Mariner East was subject to a robust, multi-year review process that welcomed public comments and input. Like all proposed pipelines, local, state, and federal regulators carefully reviewed the project. And today, regulators oversee the project’s construction.
Despite these facts, pipeline opponents have even gone as far as to call for canceling the pipeline’s construction and shutting the pipeline down. Both regulators and the courts have reaffirmed Mariner East’s permits time and time again. Even the opposition’s independent review found that the pipeline poses little risk.
With the U.S. in the midst of a natural gas boom, it’s time to focus on welcoming investment in new energy infrastructure. Unnecessarily scrutinizing legally permitted projects, baselessly dragging critical infrastructure projects through the mud, and spreading misinformation does not solve any problems. Safe infrastructure projects that reliably deliver energy products to Pennsylvanians should not be a contentious, ideological issue.