After Econsult released their study on the economic impacts of the Mariner East projects earlier this week, the response was positive. It’s hard to find fault when it is projected that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will enjoy a $9.1 billion impact from these infrastructure projects, to say nothing of the tens of thousands of construction jobs that have been, and will be, created. Yet there still remain some fringe activist groups who came out publicly against this study.
Sam Rubin, a professional protestor and Eastern Pennsylvania organizer with Food & Water Watch released a statement asserting that a “company-sponsored study of economic impacts should not distract us from the life-and-death safety risks the Mariner East pipeline poses to our communities.”
Rubin’s fear mongering claims on the safety of the Mariner East projects fall flat, as he chooses to ignore the simple fact that it has never been more environmentally friendly to build a pipeline, and that pipelines are far and away the safest means for transporting natural gas and natural gas liquids. As Kevin O’Connor notes for the Delco Times, pipeline companies “conduct consultations with community leaders and other stakeholders as well as with engineering firms, operators and contractors to meet strict safety regulations,” and they “utilize advanced safety technology to identify the safest route and further mitigate environmental impacts and ensure system integrity.” These additional measures and “adherence to best practice safety standards [often] far exceed both industry and government standards.”
Here, again, Food and Water Watch demonstrates their difficult relationship with reality. Their brazen claims about the safety of the Mariner East projects have consistently been shown to be untrue. When these fringe, anti-infrastructure activists are confronted with facts that run counter to their views and opinions, they swing wildly in an attempt to dismiss objective truths and empirical data with nothing but emotion.
The Mariner East projects will have an estimated economic impact of $9.1 billion, they will create 57,070 jobs between 2013 and 2019, and will produce between $140 and $210 million of annual economic impact in the Commonwealth. Sam Rubin’s attempt to discredit Econsult’s exhaustive study rings blatantly hollow, as the incredibly beneficial economic impacts of the Mariner East projects have been quantified and lain out for the world to see.