Sunoco Reconciles Differences with Municipalities re Mariner East

Hats off to Sunoco Logistics. In order to complete the conversion of a decades-old pipeline already in the ground, the Mariner East 1 pipeline, into flowing natural gas liquids (propane and ethane) across the state to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia, the company needs to build or upgrade 31 pump and valve stations along the existing pipeline. A legal battle ensued with resistance from many of the local municipalities, largely ginned up by scare stories from the usual sources like the Clean Air Council, THE Delaware Riverkeeper, Mountain Watershed Association and their sycophantic buddies in mainstream media outlets like PBS’ StateImpact Pennsylvania. Sunoco felt it had no option but to try and get the pipeline declared a public utility and by extension, use eminent domain to avoid local zoning ordinances. There have been plenty of legal twists and turns along the way (see our list of stories here). Sunoco has worked out their differences with 22 of the 31 townships and they are now hammering out deals with the rest. So they’ve withdrawn their application with the state Public Utility Commission (PUC) to be exempted from local zoning ordinances–no eminent domain. Anti-drillers are feverishly trying to spin this as a loss for Sunoco Logistics–that the company has “backed down” and is beaten. What it is, is a major victory for Sunoco–the pipeline will be completed (very soon) and NGLs will flow all the way to Marcus Hook…

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