In his recent Dragonpipe Diary blog, George Alexander paints yet another conspiracy theory about the Mariner East pipeline for his readers.
On June 22, Joshua Springer, a former pipeline technician, pleaded guilty in federal court to falsifying records about the integrity of welds on the Mariner East pipeline. Springer worked on a 20- mile section of the pipeline in western Pennsylvania and his responsibilities included taking X-rays of welds and interpreting the data to make sure the welds met proper standards based on PHMSA regulations. In 2018, Energy Transfer’s (ET) outside auditors discovered that Springer indicated welds on the pipeline were properly X-rayed when they had not been. ET reported their findings to regulatory authorities and Springer was fired. The stretch of the pipeline under scrutiny had already been completed, but was not yet in operation. To ensure the integrity of the pipeline, Energy Transfer made sure to re-inspect all of the welds, with PHMSA oversight of course and found that they were all in compliance.
While George Alexander would like to paint a conspiracy theory that Joshua Springer took a plea deal in order to give prosecutors information on other cases involving “higher ups,” the truth of the matter is that Energy Transfer handled this unfortunate incident with haste and professionalism. The rest of us continue to live in reality while Alexander continues publishing misinformation to fit his own agenda.