CBS Makes False Claims Against Mariner East Projects

This morning, CBS This Morning, broadcast a slanted news segment about the Mariner East project, which summed up to nothing short of propaganda by a network news organization. Mariner East is a pipeline project that, once completed, will deliver natural gas liquids from the Marcellus and Utica Shale formations in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in Delaware County. This project will provide great benefit for all Pennsylvanians through increased economic benefits as well as increased access to necessary energy resources, which many Pennsylvanian’s rely on to heat and power their homes.

Just two weeks ago, Pennsylvania-based Econsult put out a report that shows the overall economic impact of the Mariner East projects, revitalization of the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex, and corollary projects will have a $9.1 billion economic impact on Pennsylvania and create over 50,000 jobs, many of which are Pennsylvanians in the well-trained highly skilled construction trades.

Some of the claims made by CBS This Morning were:

  1. Claim: “First responders can’t build emergency response plans.”

Fact: Pipelines have been operating safely in Pennsylvania for nearly 100 years, including high volatile liquid (HVL) lines like Mariner East. Former Assistant to the General President of the International Firefighters Union recently stated in the Delaware Times that “pipelines are the safest mode to transport energy resources. They are much better for public safety than transporting these resources through our communities above ground, by train, and on our roadways by truck.

Pipelines are also much more efficient. Recent Mariner Emergency Responder Outreach sessions spanning every county along the Mariner East line focused on specialized training for police, fire, EMS, and emergency management organizations. The unknown is always more fearful than the known and the more knowledgeable that citizens become about how technologically advanced today’s pipelines are and the community safety precautions that are in place, concerns should lessen.”

  1. Claim: “A senator said while the pipeline is safe, the concern of some citizens may have been overlooked. I think the gas companies, where they missed the boat, they didn’t do enough education. They needed to meet with these neighbors and not just go ahead with construction.”

Fact: Sunoco had met with local residents, presented to neighborhood associations, and participated in countless events and regulatory proceedings for nearly 3 years before the project was lawfully permitted by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). These projects are not put together overnight and granted the authority to construct, but go through years of planning and approvals by countless governmental bodies and regulatory agencies.

  1. Claim: “It (Mariner East) will carry liquid natural gas to a shipping terminal where it will be exported overseas.”

Fact: Mariner East provides much needed propane to Pennsylvanians and other local and regional customers today. A large number of Pennsylvania residents rely on propane for home heat in the wintertime, which is one of the countless benefits that Mariner East and Marcus Hook currently provide: affordable access to necessary energy resources. Additionally, there are plans for offtakes across the pipeline for these resources including a recent announcement that Mariner East will provide ethane to General Electric’s $900 million Competitive Power Ventures Fairview 1,050-megawatt electric generating station in Cambria County, which will power approximately 1 million homes. These resources are also critical for manufacturing and will be critical to help energize the regions manufacturing base.

  1. Claim: “The pipeline runs right through town and through some of the most densely populated parts of the state.”

Fact: Mariner East 2 and Mariner East 2X run parallel with Mariner East 1, which has been operating safely through Pennsylvania for decades. The pipeline route utilizes existing right of way.

  1. Claim: Showing 8 pipelines on screen

Fact: Mariner East is a project that will include 3 pipelines: Mariner East 1, Mariner East 2, and Mariner East 2X. Mariner East 1 is a repurposed line that has been in operation for decades. Beginning in 2013, Sunoco performed the needed upgrades to reverse the flow and today transports propane to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex with plans to provide multiple off-take locations across the state. Mariner East 2 is currently under construction and Mariner East 2X is planned to be installed shortly thereafter. These new lines are being constructed alongside the existing Mariner East 1 pipeline and utilize existing right of way for the path. In all, these 3 lines will ship propane, ethane, and butane.

  1. Claim: Bentonite is harmful.

Fact: Bentonite is not toxic and approved for use the Food and Drug Administration. Some common uses of non-toxic bentonite include makeup, pharmaceuticals, and animal feed.

Failing to interview anyone with the opposing view shows that CBS This Morning’s segment was sloppy journalism. The two local citizens interviewed are entitled to their own opinions, but due to their anti-progress fringe activism, fail to represent the viewpoint of Pennsylvanians who are already benefiting from this important project.