To the [Delco] Times:
You correctly noted many of the valid concerns of residents along the proposed route of the Mariner East II pipeline in your recent editorial. In particular, you mentioned a school that is a “stone’s throw” away from the pipeline. In fact, that private school is only 7 feet away from the pipeline and is one of 40 public and private schools along the route within the blast radius.
You also mentioned a report out this last week that “lauded” the potential for the natural gas industry. The report is called “Benefits and Opportunities of Natural Gas Use, Transportation, and Production” and it was prepared for the American Petroleum Institute. I searched the report for some keywords to see how the report handled those topics. Obviously, the downsides of natural gas must be managed to keep the industry viable. Unfortunately, I found no mention of climate change, global warming, emissions, methane leaks, smog, contamination, or pollution.
Incidentally, methane is 86 times better at trapping heat than carbon dioxide is in the handful of years we have left to address climate change. The ethane that the Mariner East pipelines is moving impacts climate in two ways in addition to creating smog. Ethane is a greenhouse gas. And when it’s in the atmosphere, it gobbles up the compounds methane needs to connect with so it can convert to carbon dioxide, thereby extending methane’s life.
Pipeline projects cannot be evaluated without looking at their upstream and downstream impacts. In addition to being dangerous and, too often deadly, infrastructure projects, their very existence guarantees more destructive fracking on one end and more pollution on the other.
You mentioned the impact fee and the severance tax. We’re blessed to be spared a severance tax that would institutionalize fracking. As for the impact fee, check out our Auditor General’s report to see how it has been spent. Spoiler alert – one community used its cut to bring an “American Idol” contestant to town for a concert.
It’s a wild west of greed, corruption, and regulatory meltdown out there. Communities are right to do everything they can to protect themselves.
Karen Feridun, Founder, Berks Gas Truth, Kutztown PA