Mariner East Keeps Winning in Court As Opponents Play Politics

Mariner East OpponentsKurt Knaus

Pennsylvania Energy Infrastructure Alliance

[Editor’s Note: Yet again, Mariner East prevails in court because opponents are playing politics while paying zero attention to the letter of the law.]

A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court panel today ruled against an opponent of the Mariner East pipeline network, finding that the information he requested is exempt from public disclosure under the state’s Public Utility Confidential Security Information Disclosure Protection Act, which was enacted in 2006 to protect critical infrastructure and keep communities safe and secure by protecting information that might be used for criminal or terrorist acts.

mariner eastThat same law recently was the subject of a SpotlightPA series, which in part focused on emergency response plans and requirements that pipeline companies must meet to provide information — and laws that restrict some information sharing to protect critical infrastructure. In that series, several first responders and emergency service personnel repeatedly said they feel prepared to deal with any pipeline incident that may occur, despite the law, noting the degree of training they have undergone.

This case by opponents is simply the latest in a string of legal challenges at every level that have been shot down, as well as court decisions that uphold the lawful development of the Mariner East project.

The law is the law, and it’s clear that Mariner East has followed the law every step of the way in its development — and this is simply the latest case to prove that. Safety is a top priority for the operator, which has worked to inform communities and train emergency responders, as well as the workers who are building this pipeline in the neighborhoods where the live and work. This lawsuit by the opponents was nothing more than peddling fear to try to shut down this pipeline, rather than engaging in facts about its lawful, safe development and operation.

Editor’s Note: Again and again, the pattern repeats; Mariner East opponents attack on the basis of flimsy unsubstantiated assertions or unreasonable demands, followed by the courts telling them they can’t ignore the law. It’s becoming patently ridiculous at this point.

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