A guest blog post from Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety
Construction of Mariner East was suspended on Wednesday January 3rd. Some homeowners are frustrated that this prolongs the process. Why are these delays of Mariner East crucial?
It’s understandable that people are frustrated. We are all frustrated. But these delays have a greater purpose and our goal is still to get this project completely shut down. This is one step along that path.
Here are some reasons why a delay is a good thing:
- MONEY. Sunoco is deeply in debt. Their business plan requires a big boost in cash flow to cover payments on the debt (they won’t get cash out of ME2 until the NGLs start flowing). Also, they are looking for a joint-venture partner to pay for part of the ME2 and then get a share of the profits. If they find a JV partner, that cash will also reduce their debt load. But no partner will be interested in a pipeline with an unknown completion date. Investors will start to pull out as the operations date keeps getting pushed back.
- SAFETY. Every day the pipes are not operational is one more day our community is safe. Sunoco has the worst safety record in the industry. This should not be an out-of-sight/out-of-mind issue. When this is out of sight, we are in the most danger. We will continue to push for a risk assessment, and once we get one, potential investment partners will likely be scared off.
- LEGISLATION. We are setting the precedent on future pipelines. This shut-down is a prime opportunity to scare the pants off of other companies (like Adelphia) looking to come through here. Get on Twitter, write letters and let them know that if they come here, this fate awaits you too. PA is literally the Wild West when it comes to pipelines. Sunoco will be the first giant to fall.
- ACCOUNTABILITY. Sunoco caused this shutdown, not residents who are concerned with accountability and safety. Sunoco is violating their permit conditions. Sunoco has destroyed people’s wells. Sunoco created a sinkhole in a backyard threatening the integrity of 2 homes. Sunoco drilled illegally on at least 2 different worksites without permission. Sunoco has well over 100 spills and 30 Notices of Violation.
We appreciate the DEP’s sudden, apparent interest in obtaining compliance with the laws of Pennsylvania and permit conditions. We’ll be watching to see whether this is all for show, because what if the next sinkhole shows up in your yard, what if your water is contaminated next, or maybe worse… something we haven’t experienced yet? Be angry and frustrated, but filter your anger and frustration at the land agents who lied to you, the company that cannot seem to go a week without violating their permits and the legislators that should be protecting the health, welfare and safety of citizens.
We ask our community, stand strong together! Remember, patience and perseverance is how all great battles are won! Persistence means not to give up, to remain in the ‘battle’ and ‘fight’ till the end for what you long for. Unless you give up your efforts, you haven’t truly failed. So keep going! Continue to stand strong together and be 100% committed to protecting our first responders, our schools, and our families!