Pipeline opponents have made a big stink of the uses of natural gas liquids particularly those transported to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex via the Mariner East 1 and 2 pipelines.
Opponents love to claim that the energy products shipped through Mariner East, in their entirety, to Europe to be used in the production processes of plastic products. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The natural gas produced in the west and transported east through the Mariner East pipelines and others will initially be used in a number of ways.
Example one: East of Pittsburgh sits the CPV Fairview facility. The complex is a 1,050 megawatt natural gas fueled electricity generation plant. One source for those resources will be Mariner East and that plant is slated to produce electricity for as many as 1 million Pennsylvania homes.
Example two: Ferro Fuels in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania is a local business that relies on the availability of natural gas at the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex. The company buys large quantities of processed natural gases to then package and sell for commercial and residential purposes. Again, another example of the usefulness of Pennsylvania natural gas that pays it back to the Commonwealth by supporting local business.
Example three: The glut of natural gas in Pennsylvania has afforded the state to become a player in the international energy market. Any fuel exported to foreign countries was paid for handsomely, generating tax revenues for the state, and putting the United States at the forefront of the energy market. Twisting this into a negative is incredibly naïve.
The bottom line is, energy production and pipeline infrastructure development is critical to ensure adequate supply of energy for consumers. Mariner East clearly has a local Pennsylvania benefit in the near term, but once in operation, could provide even greater benefit. One need to look no further than Braskem’s recent announcement to make investments in Texas when expansion of their Pennsylvania operations was more beneficial. The reason being that Pennsylvania did not have the adequate pipeline infrastructure to support their needs.