February 3, 2021

PennFuture Letter to the Editor in the Beaver County Times

Letter: Pipeline should remain out of service

In a Jan. 27 letter titled “Pipeline delays hurt Pennsylvania economy,” Larry Nelson argued that the Revolution Pipeline should be given the green light to return to service because the pipeline’s owner “has and continues to comply” with directives from the state. 

Mr. Nelson cannot be talking about Energy Transfer Partners, the company that owns and operates pipelines across Pennsylvania that have, for years, been plagued by spills, accidents and, in the case of Beaver County, an explosion. 

The Energy Transfer-owned Mariner East 2 pipeline in eastern Pennsylvania has been hit with more than 100 violations from the state, as well as fines in excess of $13 million. That’s not to mention more than 680 violations accrued during the construction of the Revolution Pipeline, and a historic $30 million fine levied against the company after the pipeline exploded in 2018.

The situation surrounding Energy Transfer’s projects in Pennsylvania became so serious that Gov. Tom Wolf felt compelled to issue a statement in 2019 saying “there has been a failure by Energy Transfer and its subsidiaries to respect our laws and our communities.”

Does that sound like a company that’s earned the benefit of the doubt?

Thankfully, nobody was killed when the Revolution Pipeline exploded in Center Township, but a house was leveled, vehicles destroyed and an entire neighborhood was literally shaken. Now, the state Department of Environmental Protection is taking every single step necessary to ensure an accident like this doesn’t happen again. 

In his letter, Mr. Nelson asked a simple question: should it really take more than two years for DEP to allow the pipeline to be placed back in service?
The answer is a resounding yes, by any metric. This pipeline needs to remain out of service until Energy Transfer Partners shows it can consistently operate safely in Pennsylvania, and not a second sooner.

Jared Stonesifer