High Stakes Game of Chicken Between Westinghouse & Mariner East 2

Westinghouse Electric tried “an ambitious new approach to building nuclear power plants” by building sections of the plants in one location before sending them to the construction site for assembly. They tried the process with two nuke plants–one in Georgia and the other in South Carolina. The process they “innovated” failed and took the company down–into bankruptcy. What does that have to do with the Mariner East 2 (ME2) Pipeline project? Westinghouse Electric is headquartered just outside of Pittsburgh and owns a fair amount of land. Mariner East 2 intends to cross a portion of that land. Sunoco Logistics Partners, builder of ME2, attempted to negotiate a payment for an easement to cross Westinghouse’s land–but Westinghouse wanted more than ME2 offered. So ME2 filed paperwork to use eminent domain and “condemn” the Westinghouse property. In other words, let a judge decide how much is fair. Westinghouse joined the chorus that “ME2 isn’t really a public utility”–sounding no different than the Sierra Club and others who oppose the project. That strategy went nowhere, so Westinghouse eventually came back to the bargaining table and this time, worked out a deal–to sell some of their land to ME2. Now Westinghouse is asking the bankruptcy judge in charge of their case to approve the land sale, ahead of the judge’s decision on other matters to do with the bankruptcy. Here’s an account of the high stakes of “chicken” between Westinghouse and ME2…

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