Philly Judge Says Case Against Mariner East 2 Can Proceed

A Philadelphia judge for the Court of Common Pleas (low-level court in PA) has ruled in favor of the anti-drilling Clean Air Council against Sunoco Logistics Partners and their Mariner East 2 pipeline. The ruling is nothing more than “this case has merits” (in the eyes of the judge) and can proceed. The case itself is challenging the right of Mariner East 2 to use eminent domain against landowners in building the new pipeline. The Clean Air Council’s argument is that since most of the natural gas liquids that will flow through the pipeline will get exported or otherwise not used in PA itself, that moves Mariner East from being a public utility with eminent domain power to an interstate pipeline more properly reviewed and permitted by federal authorities. It’s a delay tactic, because if Mariner East 2 were to come under the aegis of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and eventually permitted, they would also be entitled to use eminent domain. But a FERC review would take years. Which is what the Clean Air Council wants. Here’s the latest minor setback for Sunoco, whose eminent domain has been upheld in other PA courts and who is beginning to clear trees for the Mariner East 2 pipeline right now…

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