Sometimes the local media can’t help themselves in adding fuel to a fire instigated by local fear mongers in Southeast Pennsylvania. Personal and community safety is always top of mind, but sometimes the local media seems to push a narrative that inflames worry in local residents.
Yesterday, the Delco Times ran a story in an attempt to raise concern about the Mariner East pipeline. The story highlights comments by Delaware County Emergency Services Director, Tim Boyce as part of an “ongoing formal complaint filed with the PUC” by Michael Bomstein, a serial pipeline opponent. Just a piece of the story was included.
For starters, the energy industry is nothing new to Southeast Pennsylvania. Pipelines have run through the area for over a century, safely delivering energy resources to area refineries and processing facilities. These pipelines existed long before many of these residents even moved into their houses.
Pipelines are the safest way to transport energy resources according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Unlike what Representative Danielle Friel Otten seems to believe, if these products aren’t transported by pipeline, alternative transportation such as truck or rail will have to be utilized. This means increased rail and truck traffic through our communities as opposed to safe transport underground. Do you think we have traffic problems now? What would 750 tanker trucks on our roadways each day do to the traffic problem?
These facts are simply glazed over by many of the doomsdayers. Although a risk assessment had been done and shared with regulators, as required by law, the Delaware County Council used over $100,000 of taxpayer dollars to conduct their own risk assessment in 2018, which told us what we already knew. As Kathleen Carey reported in November of 2018, “the report stated that a person is 20 times more likely to die from a traffic accident or fall from stairs and 35 times more likely to die from a house fire than from an incident involving the Mariner East 2 pipeline…”
Michael Bomstein is in the business of opposing this pipeline and has been quite successful finding clients. While he appears to be confident in his convictions, he has yet to find a judge that has ruled in his favor. His lack of success in the courtroom does not preclude him from continuing to push rhetoric intended to incite worry and fear in local residents, which is an interesting marketing strategy at the very least.
Mariner East is a legally permitted project and a pipeline safety expert found that the “pipeline…exceeds federal pipeline safety regulations.” Facts matter and should always be given higher credence than innuendo.
Pipeline opponents will undoubtedly continue in their opposition. Just wish they would make arguments based on facts as opposed to conspiracy.