Over 100 US, UK & EU Groups Tell Wolf: Shut Down Mariner East Pipeline, Stop Fracking for Plastics and Suppy for Ineos
Dozens of US and international organizations released a letter to US Governor Tom Wolf encouraging him to bring a halt to Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline. The groups point out that the pipeline puts residents on both sides of the Atlantic at risk: Communities in eastern Pennsylvania that will bear the burden associated with fracking, the communities along the pipeline route endangered by spills and explosions, and those living near the petrochemical facilities in Europe that will use the gas liquids carried by the pipeline.
“This effort links the local battles against Sunoco with the vibrant anti-fracking movement in Europe that is focusing on the environmentally disastrous record of Ineos, the petrochemical colossus that is seeking to benefit from fracking in the US and the UK,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “The dangers posed by this project are serious, and require immediate action from Governor Wolf, who is the only the person with the power to protect all of these communities.”
The massive Sunoco project has been plagued by drilling spills and water contamination, which eventually led the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to suspend construction permits. But weeks later, the Wolf administration settled with Sunoco, clearing the way for construction to resume.
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Governor Wolf has long been an ardent supporter of Sunoco’s project, and pushed to expedite construction permits.
“Since the Wolf administration’s approval the Mariner East 2 pipeline one year ago, the call for him to stop it has grown to include organizations from across the United States, Scotland, England, and Europe,” said Karen Feridun, the founder of Berks Gas Truth. “These groups stand in solidarity with communities whose health, safety, private water supplies, quality of life, and property rights are threatened by bad actors like Sunoco/Energy Transfer Partners on this side of the Atlantic and Ineos in the UK and Europe. Governor Wolf can and must stop this pipeline right now and become the climate leader Pennsylvania needs. His choice will be his legacy.”
The letter, organized by Food & Water Watch, Food & Water Watch Europe and Berks Gas Truth was signed by US groups like 350.org, Oil Change International, Progressive Democrats of America, Friends of the Earth, the Center for International Environmental Law, and the Center for Biological Diversity. They are joined by organizations in Europe like Frack Free United (UK), Friends of the Earth EWNI (England, Wales and Northern Ireland), Talk Fracking (UK), Friends of the Earth Scotland, Frackwatch and Our Forth Against Unconventional Gas (Scotland), Not Here Not Anywhere (Ireland) and Ecologistas en Acción (Spain).
“From both sides of Scotland- East and West – we join our voices to those calling on Governor Wolf to protect his state and people from fracking and pipelines,” read a joint statement from Scottish groups Frackwatch Glasgow and Our Forth Against Unconventional Gas. “We feel fortunate that our government has banned fracking – but we feel sad that our country is destination for most of the gas piped through the dirty and dangerous Mariner East pipeline as it is finally transported via Dragon Class Ships, to travel up and down the Firth of OUR FORTH and pass perilously close to the capital city into the heart of Scotland. Here, most of the gas will be used to make throwaway plastic to pollute our oceans and add to greenhouse gas emissions. We need some real changes, on both sides of the Atlantic, to move forward in a positive way! The fact is that leaders – real leaders – must now start planning for and working with communities for – a very different economic future.”
The letter closes with this message to Governor Wolf: “It is time to put a stop to this dangerous pipeline, and to move to a full ban on fracking. Your decision to do this will benefit our communities and our health, and it would protect residents of the state of Pennsylvania.”
(Main Image: A backhoe works at a construction site for the Mariner East 2 pipeline in Lebanon County,i n the U.S. state of Pennsylvania)