Food & Water Watch Fear-mongers International Implications of ME2

The Mariner East 2 pipeline spreads benefits across Pennsylvanian economic and energy indicators. As has been their tune in recent months, Food & Water Watch is back at exacerbating local concerns into transnational dialogue – with a loose application of the facts at hand.

Wenonah Hauter, the founder and executive director of Food & Water Watch and Food & Water Action Fund, recently posted a piece to In These Times asserting that the main use of the Mariner East 2 pipeline will be to “transport highly volatile liquids that will mostly be shipped overseas to be turned into plastics by a giant chemical corporation”.

First of all, the Mariner East projects were designed from the start to transport propane, ethane, and other petroleum products from the Marcellus shale formations to markets in Pennsylvania and beyond. This infrastructure furthermore contributes to the revitalization of the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex as a hub of natural gas liquids in the Northeast. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, “construction of the pipeline at the Marcus Hook terminal would provide an impetus for new domestic markets to emerge. Its pipeline will also deliver ethane as a supplemental fuel to a new power plant under construction in Cambria County.” Additionally, with the offtake agreement with CPV Fairview, the infrastructure provides a local artery to the Mariner East projects for ethane. According to The Tribune-Democrat, “the latest collaboration between Sunoco, CPV and local leadership is a perfect example of how local support can encourage corporations to combine their strengths to create the most efficient ventures, give back to local communities and create a sustainable future for Pennsylvanians.”

Second of all, the economic development opportunities spurred by this infrastructure development has created jobs with family-sustaining wages in Pennsylvania, with benefits already being realized across townships. Our communities need these pipelines to capitalize on our local energy reserves, and Mike Butler of the Consumer Energy Alliance explain that projects like the Mariner East 2 pipeline “has helped to create over 30,000 jobs and will generate approximately $1 million in tax revenue for the commonwealth.”

As Pennsylvanians already know, energy infrastructure projects are bringing jobs and economic development across our state. Don’t be fooled by out-of-state opinions trying to link this project to an international fight. This pipeline is bringing benefits to Pennsylvania, and  – as Mike Butler put it – “we must remain committed to both preserving our environment and building out the necessary infrastructure so that Pennsylvanians can continue to reap these benefits for generations to come.”