2nd PA Toilet Paper Plant Converting from Coal to Gas-Fired Elec

In early 2013, the Proctor & Gamble manufacturing plant in Wyoming County (northeastern PA) began generating 100% of its own energy needs thanks to the Marcellus Shale beneath plant property (see PA P&G Plant: 100% Energy Self-Sufficient from Marcellus Gas). The plant, which manufactures Pampers and Luvs diapers and Charmin toilet tissue, uses a LOT of electricity and natural gas. They built their own gas-fired electric plant and began generating all of their own electricity–enough electricity to power 40,000 homes! Fast forward to today. P&G competitor Kimberly Clark has just announced that it too will build a gas-fired electric plant, in Delaware County (near Philadelphia), to power its plant that manufactures Scott 1000 toilet paper. What is it about toilet paper and gas? Kimberly Clark is getting a $6 million grant from PA toward the $150 million project. Make way for another new major customer for PA’s Marcellus fracked gas…
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PA Supreme Court Victory for ME2 Pipeline re Two Zoning Cases

Two different townships in the Philadelphia area, amped-up by and using money from Big Green groups like THE Delaware Riverkeeper (aka Maya van Rossum), tried to stop Sunoco Logistics Partners’ Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project by claiming it violated local zoning ordinances. The construction of ME2 is governed by the PA state Public Utility Commission and the state Dept. of Environmental Protection. It is not a federal (i.e. FERC) project. Because it is a state-oversight project, the issue of primacy (whose rules and regulations govern) resides at the state level and not at the local level. Two local townships–one in Chester County the other in Delware County–argued in separate cases before PA Commonwealth Court that local zoning regulations for siting the pipeline should still apply. Commonwealth Court, in a pair of decisions earlier this year, ruled against that view (see PA Town Loses Appeal to Block ME2 Pipe with Local Zoning Ordinance and PA Appeals Court Rules ME2 Pipe NOT Under Local Zoning). Using Big Green money, both towns appealed their cases to the PA Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the Supremes declined to hear either case, meaning the Commonwealth Court ruling stands and this issue is now, finally, done. Antis’ attempts to stop the ME2 project by using local zoning ordinances is a closed door…
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Speaker Didn’t Tell Middletown Pipe Antis What They Wanted to Hear

Anti fossil fuel radicals continue to try and stir up opposition to the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project near Philadelphia. Local supervisors in Middletown (Delaware County, PA) walk a tightrope between a desire to protect area residents and anti groups fomenting irrational fears. The Board of Supervisors hired a consultant to advise them on potential safety issues with ME1 & 2. Monday night the supervisors held a public meeting to allow residents to hear from and ask questions of the consultant. The consultant, to his credit, maintained his objectivity. He’s not for or against pipelines–he’s looking at safety issues and discussing realistic scenarios. His responses to some of the questions were not what antis in the crowd wanted to hear. They wanted him to feed their fear-mongering (and false) beliefs. The consultant refused to do so. We found one bit of news from the session highly instructive. There is an anti group calling itself Middletown Coalition for Public Safety. The group presents itself as a “nonpartisan grassroots group of parents and residents whose goal is to educate elected officials and the public regarding the risks associated with the proposed Mariner East 2 pipeline.” It is the exact opposite. Rabidly partisan (Democrat). And not composed of residents. The people who belong to the group, at least its leaders, aren’t from Middletown! At the Monday meeting one of their members, Eric Friedman, was not allowed to question the consultant because he doesn’t live in Middletown. What does that tell you about how these “grassroots” groups are operated and funded?…
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ME2 Pipe Antis Politely & Completely Skewered at PA House Hearing

On Tuesday, Pennsylvania State Rep. Chris Quinn (R-Delaware) hosted a House Republican Policy Committee meeting at the Penn State Brandywine Campus (Delaware County) to discuss pipeline safety, construction and siting issues in Chester and Delaware counties. The real aim of the session was to focus on Sunoco Logistics Partners’ Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project–a state-regulated project not under the purview of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Eve Miari of the Clean Air Council and Virginia Marcille-Kerslake from West Whiteland Residents for Pipeline Safety were there to provide an overview of concerns by “the community” with siting and building ME2. MDN friend Garland Thompson, a contributing editor for US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, attended the session and wrote a report (below). As usual, Garland does a terrific job in capturing the key points of what was discussed. Spoiler alert: While Garland found Miari and Marcille-Kerslake’s testimony heart-felt, their allegations that nobody was/is in charge of siting a project like ME2, and that Sunoco is not being “transparent” in their building of ME2, were skewered, point by point by point. Here is clear, honest, accurate reporting you won’t get anywhere else…
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Philly Antis Commission Faux “Risk Study” Targeting ME2 Pipeline

Unhappy that local and state political leaders refuse to shut down the Mariner East 2 (ME2) pipeline project, a small group of anti-fossil fuelers from the Philadelphia area are coughing up $50,000 of Big Green (likely Tom Steyer’s) money to fund a biased “study” that will say ME2 is too risky. Del-Chesco United for Pipeline Safety, working with East Goshen Safety and Environmental Advocates, has hired Quest Consultants–a company that sells itself to the highest bidder. The funny thing is, the same company (Quest Consultants) did virtually the same report for the same region last year, charging the Middletown Coalition $45,000 (see Report by Philly Antis Proves Mariner East 2 Pipeline is Safe). Why even bother with the pretense? The end result is already written (just look at last year’s report). You always get what you pay for, and this is paid for by antis. This new “report” is not about hard science but about political science. It’s about scientific hucksterism. It’s about paying $50K so you can wave a report around and make a baseless claim to new “facts” (that aren’t facts at all). It’s just more of the same from the same people…
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Misguided Philly Moms Arrested for Illegal ME2 Pipeline Protest

Last week two young mothers, no doubt radicalized by watching Captain Planet cartoons when they were growing up, sat themselves down in front of construction equipment in Middletown, PA (Delaware County, near Philadelphia) in an attempt to block construction of the Mariner East 2 Pipeline. The two, along with a handful of other mothers (and grandmothers) call themselves the “Mama Bear Brigade.” They held a “Teddy Bear Picnic” at the construction site, and sang children’s songs with new non-children lyrics. The “mama bears” have decided our nation’s laws no longer apply to them if they don’t happen to like the law, so they elected to take the law into their own hands. Frankly, they’re just a handful of misguided and misinformed moms who believe the pipeline will explode and kill everyone living in “the blast zone.” What’s funny about the story are the comments. One commenter said this: “Why do liberal losers always give themselves stupid nicknames…Lock them up and build the pipeline!” There were other comments we can’t repeat here since we’re a family-friendly blog. Here’s the story of some misguided moms who believe they’re protecting their kids by breaking the law…
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Sunoco Seeks to Use Alternate Pipe Near Philly to Get ME2 Flowing

Years ago when Sunoco Logistics Partners (aka Energy Transfer Partners) originally proposed and planned the Mariner East 2 twin pipelines from the edge of eastern Ohio through the entire length of Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook refinery near Philadelphia, the completion date promised was the end of 2016. Little could Sunoco foresee the multiple lawsuits, regulatory hearings and illegal protest actions that would conspire to throw the project off schedule for more than a year and half. When pipeline companies plan such multi-billion dollar projects, they first get customers (drillers) to sign on the dotted line, guaranteeing there will be enough product (and revenue) to make the project worthwhile. Drillers *did* sign on the dotted line, and they’re still waiting. Waiting and now pressuring Sunoco to get the darned thing up and running. The pipeline itself is 98% complete–in the ground and connected. But an all-important 2% is still not complete, most of it in the Philly suburbs–Delaware and Chester counties. Sunoco continues to have problems with underground horizontal directional drilling and with ongoing litigation by towns in the Philly area. What to do, with customers breathing down your back? Sunoco has come up with an ingenious solution that is sure to send the crazies into orbit. Sunoco is asking the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) for permission to use part of an existing 12-inch pipeline in that area that previously carried refined petroleum products (things like gasoline, heating oil, and jet fuel), repurposing the pipeline to carry NGLs (ethane, propane, butane, etc.). This is only a short-term fix until the last bits of the full ME2 is up and running…
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Two More $1M NatGas Pipeline Grants Coming Courtesy PA Taxpayers

PA Gov. Tom Wolf

It’s Christmas in Pennsylvania. Last week PA Gov. Tom Wolf and his Dept. of Community and Economic Development (DCED) announced the award of nine grants “to promote energy efficiency and spur economic development.” Among those nine grants are two grants for new natural gas pipelines. Two $1 million grants were awarded from the PA Pipeline Investment Program (PIPE), one to flow gas to a wax manufacturer in McKean County that wants to switch from using coal to natgas, and the other to serve over 500 new residential and business gas customers in Wayne County. Other grants in the list of nine include $965,000 for a 2000 kW CHP (combined heat and power) system for the Villanova University campus, and $1.2 million for a 2,000 kW CHP system for the Bayer Healthcare facility in Myerstown. In general we’re not in favor of corporate welfare, which is what this is (let’s just be honest). However, this is a pretty mild case of it. We can think of worse ways to blow taxpayer’s money. Essentially these relatively small investments keep more PA gas in PA by running pipelines to residents and businesses that will use it, and by helping fund power plants that will use it. Think of the grants as seed money to encourage more PA gas staying in PA, generating jobs at the same time…
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Philly Lefties Hold Partisan Anti-Pipe “Prayer Walk” in Media, PA

Is a march considered “peaceful” if it includes using a bullhorn to disturb the neighbors as you march? We don’t know the answer–just asking. “About 40” (meaning 20-30) protesters “peacefully marched” down State Street in Media, PA (Delaware County, near Philadelphia) last Saturday. The protest was billed as an “Interfaith Prayer Walk for Pipeline Safety,” organized by the so-called Faith Alliance for Public Safety. Of course the protesters weren’t walking to encourage pipeline safety at all. They were walking to block or shut down pipelines. They probably crossed a hundred or more buried pipelines on their way to the protest–but that little fact doesn’t appear to bother them. The protesters claim there are “moral issues” at stake with pipelines like Mariner East 2–which was the particular ire of the protesters. We wonder, are there “moral issues” with other inanimate objects–like sticks and stones? Just asking. The so-called prayers that were offered weren’t offered to God the Father, but to Mother Earth: “Love the Mother Earth. Put fire into the prayer.” Whatever that nonsense means. Supposed Christians, Jews and Muslims were among the protesters. A real ecumenical gathering. Although they all worship different gods, they were all united in one respect: An irrational hatred of fossil fuels and the companies that extract and transport them…
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PA Appeals Court Rules ME2 Pipe NOT Under Local Zoning

The entire panel of judges sitting on Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court, an appeals court in PA, ruled yesterday that zoning regulations in a local municipality–in this case Middletown (Delaware County)–do NOT supersede the state Public Utility Commission when it comes to regulating Sunoco Logistics Partners Mariner East 2 (ME2) NGL pipeline. In May 2017, six anti-pipeline residents living near where the ME2 pipeline will pass asked the Middletown town council to reject the path of the pipeline near their property because it would, supposedly, pass closer than town code allows. The town council told the residents they’re out of luck–the town will not pursue any action to block Mariner East 2. Period. The residents, amped-up, agitated and funded by Big Green groups filed a lawsuit against ME2, to force it to conform with Middletown’s ordinance (see 6 Middletown Antis Sue Sunoco LP to Stop Mariner East 2 Pipe). The lawsuit was filed in the the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. The judge dismissed the case in June, so the antis, again funded by Big Green groups, appealed the case to the next higher court, Commonwealth Court. An “en banc” panel (meaning all of the judges) heard the case, indicating its high importance. The en banc panel ruled yesterday, against the Middletown residents…
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Converted Oil Pipeline Near Philly Extends Open Season for NatGas

Earlier this month we shared the exciting news that an old oil pipeline stretching from Northampton County, PA through Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, terminating in Delaware County at Marcus Hook had been purchased by a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources will get converted to flow more Marcellus natural gas to the greater Philadelphia region (see Oil Pipeline Near Philly to be Converted to Flow Fracked NatGas). The project/pipeline has been named the Adelphia Gateway. On Nov. 2nd the project began an “open season”–a period of time when shippers can reserve capacity along the pipeline. Such contracts typically run for 10-20 years and guarantee the pipeline (which will invest millions) can recoup its investment and make a profit. The open season was scheduled to expire on Nov. 20th, but Adelphia has extended the open season to Dec. 8th. Adelphia says the extension was to allow for the Thanksgiving holiday. Typically such an extension means the project hasn’t secured enough business to be profitable. We don’t have a feel one way or the other for this project. Perhaps a number of people did take off for the Thanksgiving holiday and this will give Adelphia a chance to button up previously expressed interest. Signing on the dotted line means an office full of lawyers will need to review it first–and lawyers like their vacations…
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ME2 Drilling in Delaware Co. Creates Small Sinkhole, Antis Swarm

Sunoco Logistics Partners has had another “inadvertent return” (i.e. leak of drilling mud) while drilling underground in Delaware County, PA–in a Philly suburb. Every time it happens, no matter how little mud comes out of the ground (even less than a gallon), extremist antis jump up and down and declare an environmental holocaust. What makes this most recent episode different is that a sink hole has opened up near where the drilling mud and water came out of the ground. Not a good situation as the sink hole is not far from a home. The homeowner is not pleased. However, the homeowner is an anti, which makes it even worse. As soon as the mud came out of the ground and the hole appeared, the homeowner called in a swarm of other antis, supposedly to “document” the situation. They were really there to obstruct Sunoco workers who were trying to clean it up and prevent any further damage. Because the antis wouldn’t move their rear-ends out the way, Sunoco had to call in the police to move them. The anti homeowner got all hot-and-bothered that Sunoco had the nerve to call the cops on his anti buds. So far we’ve only found one mainstream media article about the episode, which is quite biased against Sunoco…
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Oil Pipeline Near Philly to be Converted to Flow Fracked NatGas

Exciting! We have a brand new pipeline project to tell you about–located in the Greater Philadelphia area. Although the project is new, the pipeline is old–already in the ground. Talen Energy, birthed in June 2015 from a combination between PPL Energy Supply and certain assets of Riverstone Holdings, is one of the largest competitive energy and power generation companies in North America. Talen’s core business is building and operating electric generating power plants. One of the assets Talen inherited in the merger is an 84-mile pipeline called the Interstate Energy Company which runs from Northampton County, PA through Bucks, Montgomery, and Chester counties, terminating in Delaware County at Marcus Hook. Talen announced yesterday they’ve sold the Interstate Energy Company (the pipeline) to Adelphia Gateway, a subsidiary of New Jersey Resources, for $189 million. The northern 34 miles of the pipeline was converted to flow natural gas back in 1996. The southern 50 miles currently flows oil, but Adelphia (NJ Resources) announced yesterday they will convert the oil portion of the pipeline to instead flow natural gas. The bottom line is that a wide swath of Greater Philly is about to get a new source of clean-burning, abundant fracked PA natural gas…
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Court Considers if PA Towns Can Regulate ME2 Pipeline Location

In May six anti-pipeline residents living near where the Mariner East 2 pipeline will pass asked the Middletown (Delaware County, PA) town council to reject the path of the pipeline near their property because it would, supposedly, pass closer than town code allows. The town council told the residents they’re out of luck–the town will not pursue any action to block Mariner East 2. Period. The residents, amped-up, agitated and funded by Big Green groups filed a lawsuit against the pipeline, to force it to conform with Middletown’s ordinance (see 6 Middletown Antis Sue Sunoco LP to Stop Mariner East 2 Pipe). The lawsuit was filed in the the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas. The judge dismissed the case in June, so the antis, again funded by Big Green groups, appealed the case to the next higher court, Commonwealth Court. On Wednesday, an “en banc” panel of Commonwealth Court heard arguments in the case (“en banc” meaning all of the judges heard the case, indicating its high importance). One report of the session indicates the judges expressed skepticism that Sunoco Logstics Partners, the builder, does not have to follow local town ordinances because the pipeline is overseen by the the state and state regulations preempt local ordinances. Needless to say if the case goes against ME2/Sunoco, it will make it harder (but not impossible) to finish work on time…
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Anarchists Brag About Vandalizing Mariner East 2 Constr Equipment

A group of lawless anarchists–people calling themselves “anti-capitalists” from the Philadelphia area, have admitted in a blog post that they engaged in illegal, criminal (we’d call it eco-terrorist) activities against construction equipment being used in Media (Delaware County), PA for the Mariner East 2 Pipeline project. The criminals, from the anti-American group Philly Anti-Capitalist, said they filled the fuel tanks of a flatbed truck and several excavators with sand and sugar–meant to ruin the engines. They even outline how to inflict maximum damage to the engines by removing the fuel filters. These idiots justify their criminal actions by saying, “Human-caused ecological collapse and mass extinction are upon us.” In other words, they’re loony tunes. Crazy. Driven to commit criminal acts because they’ve been brainwashed into believing mankind is poisoning Mom Earth by extracting and using fossil fuels. And brainwashed against liberty and freedom as personified in the United States. They are serious (and dangerous) nutjobs. We sincerely hope the FBI, Homeland Security and other police organizations hunt them down and jail them for destroying private property…
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Rich Homeowners in Philly Suburb Claim ME2 Work Stirring up Arsenic

Rich, snobbish homeowners in an “upscale” Philadelphia suburb development are asking an appeals court to stop Sunoco Logistics from building the Mariner East 2 pipeline through the edge of their high-priced development because, they claim, the digging is disturbing the dirt (which is what digging does) and disturbing the dirt is causing lead and arsenic to become dislodged. The lead and arsenic are supposedly in the dirt as a result of pesticides used when the land was an apple orchard. The claim is flat out BS–Barbara Streisand. The Andover Homeowners Association in Thornbury Township (Delaware County) is the same group that a few weeks ago acted like five year-olds by intentionally stepping over a painted line put there to protect them from a ME2 construction zone (see Philly Antis Step Over the Line (Literally) at ME2 Pipeline Site). Spoiled rotten children grow up to be spoiled rotten adults. Here’s the latest tactic to stop a pipeline from the gentry class–just because they don’t like how digging a pipeline makes their development look to the neighbors…
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