OH Lawsuit Tries, Fails to Stop Mariner East 2 Pipeline

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The Mariner East 2 (ME2) Pipeline has always been a story about Pennsylvania. Almost always. ME2 is actually two pipelines, laid side by side, that are meant to carry natural gas liquids (propane and butane) from southwestern Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio all the way across PA to the Philadelphia area–terminating at the Marcus Hook refinery/terminal. Most (not all) of the NGLs are exported to other countries. And therein lies the bone of contention. ME2 was granted status as a public utility and with it, the right to use eminent domain to force landowners to allow the pipeline across their property. Some landowners resisted, and (with help from anti groups) sued, repeatedly, claiming there is no public benefit from NGLs that get exported to other countries. They do have a point. So ME2 built four “off ramps” in PA–points where propane and butane will be purchased and used locally, which helps justify the public utility/eminent domain claim. Until now we’ve always read about lawsuits against ME2 originating in PA, where 95% of the pipeline will be built. However, there was a vigorous challenge to ME2 in Ohio on the same grounds–that ME2 is not in the public interest. That lawsuit argued, among other things, there are no “off ramps” in Ohio where the NGLs will be sold and used. However, a lower court and then an appeals court didn’t buy that argument and ruled against the landowner and in favor of ME2. That case appears dead, but it was appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court (no decision yet on hearing the case). This post will catch you up on the arguments for and against ME2 and its claim to be a public utility with the right of eminent domain in Ohio…

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