Construction of Sunoco’s awful Mariner East 2 pipeline has brought spills, sinkholes, and water contamination to the people of Pennsylvania. The movement to stop this dangerous fracking project continues to build, putting more pressure on the one man who is in a position to stop it: Governor Tom Wolf.
Unfortunately, at every stop along the way, the governor has sided with Sunoco Logistics at the expense of the people of his state. That’s why we will rally on June 9 in West Chester to tell him to stop Sunoco.
NO MARINER EAST! RALLY FOR COMMUNITY SAFETY
JUNE 9 - 3:00 PM
CHESTER COUNTY COURTHOUSE
2 N. HIGH STREET - WEST CHESTER, PA
Here are just four of the ways Wolf has failed the people of Pennsylvania:
1. Approving Sunoco’s deficient applications
In March 2017, StateImpact Pennsylvania reported that Wolf’s Department of Environmental Protection approved final permits for the pipeline even though there were numerous deficiencies in the company’s applications. A former DEP official argued that the approvals were rushed through due to pressure from Wolf’s office, which was motivated to help the company meet its construction schedule.
2. Refusing demands for public safety study
Pipelines inevitably leak. The problem with the ME2 is that it carries highly volatile liquids that could result in massive fires or explosions, which is a considerable danger given that the pipeline runs close to dozens of schools, homes, and other occupied structures. Fearful residents have consistently asked the Wolf administration to make a publicly available safety analysis of the Mariner East pipeline. But the governor’s office has repeatedly rebuffed these requests, leaving some community groups to raise the funds themselves to generate their own risk assessment of the project. It is outrageous that it ever had to get to this point.
3. Bogus claims about the benefits of pipelines
Community groups have pressured Wolf to listen to families suffering from water contamination and other property damage, and those who are fearful that the pipeline will present a serious danger to their communities if it is ever completed. Wolf has not taken these concerns seriously; in fact, during one radio interview in August 2017, he had this to say about gas pipelines like Mariner East 2: “If we’re going to live the life we want to live, with the things we have here–on the way to a sustainable energy future– we’re going to be needing these products.”
The Mariner East 2 has nothing to do sustainable energy or the "the things we have here." It is a pipeline carrying fracked gas liquids that will be exported to Europe to make plastic.
4. Instead of shutting down Sunoco, crafting a sneaky settlement
After a while, the disasters associated with the construction of the Mariner East 2 became too numerous to ignore. The Wolf administration finally felt compelled to act in January, blasting Sunoco for "egregious and willful" violations of state environmental law. Construction across much of the project was halted.
But the hopes that this would lead to a real and lasting shutdown of the Mariner East 2 were short-lived. About a month later, the Wolf administration announced that it had reached a settlement with the company: Pay a fine and get back to work creating more spills and sinkholes. The date of the administration's announcement was significant; it was the same day millions of Pennsylvanians were celebrating the Philadelphia Eagles’ improbable Super Bowl victory with a massive parade in the city’s streets.
Governor Wolf probably hoped that folks wouldn’t notice. But the opposite has happened. The movement to shut down Sunoco has only grown.