News broke this week that deliberate damage to two pieces of heavy equipment being used to build the Mariner East 2 pipeline was inflicted by anti-pipeline group Philly Anti-Capitalist. The group, a known affiliate of Camp White Pine, claimed responsibility for the damage in a brazen Earth First Journal post which bragged about “cutting their hoses and electrical wires, cutting off valve stems to deflate the tires, introducing sand into their systems, putting potatoes in the exhaust pipes, using contact cement to close off the machines’ panels and fuel tanks, and a variety of other mischievous improvised sabotage techniques.” In addition to the recent damage caused by Philly Anti-Capitalist, Camp White Pine is “calling for direct actions, banner drops, demonstrations, and more!”
Actions like this are not only illegal, but ultimately harmful to Pennsylvanians and specifically to the communities that will benefit from Mariner East 2. The pipeline, which has created 2,500 jobs during the construction phase alone, is estimated to have a $9 billion financial impact in the Keystone State once it is complete. Delays and stall tactics from opposition groups, legal or otherwise, are only obstructing the benefits that will come from an operational pipeline.
Throughout the process of planning and building the Mariner East 2 pipeline, Sunoco has sought the input and approval of the communities in the area. The company has held town halls, met with community members, and worked to make the process as seamless as possible. In spite of this, there are still groups who oppose the pipeline’s construction. But regardless of feelings on the matter, the law is the law. Philly Anti-Capitalist should be held accountable for their actions, and groups such as Camp White Pine should stop calling for illegal activities.