Center City protests planned Tuesday against proposed Sunoco pipeline

A natural gas pipeline Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Wikimedia commons.

Local environmental groups plan to gather Tuesday outside Sunoco Logistics’ offices in Center City to protest a proposed liquid natural gas pipeline.

“As a mother, personally I find it very worrisome and frightening,” said Aarati Kasturirangan, a coordinator of 350 Philadelphia who will join protests to demand that the East Mariner Pipeline project be called off on Tuesday, along with members of the Clean Air Council and Protecting Our Waters environmental groups.

“The interests of the corporate powers and the fossil fuel industry are being placed above our families and our health,” she said.

Sunoco Logistics began their “open season” last week on the project, inviting companies to commit to buying ethane and propane that would be piped from MarkWest refinery in Houston, Pa. through Chester County to Marcus Hook, Del. for export to Europe.

The project would involve two pipelines. East Mariner 1 is projected to move 70,000 barrels or 500,000 gallons of natural gas per day. No projections are yet available for East Mariner 2.

The project is targeted for completion in 2016.

“This pipeline is going to directly contribute to accelerating the amount of carbon that’s released into the air, and the way it’s being done really puts Philadelphia and Pennsylvania families in danger of health risks … with these gas explosions that have been happening in many different locations whenever these pipelines are laid,” Kasturirangan said.

Media reports show incidents of explosions along gas pipeline occurred in Illinois in August and in Texas and Missouri in November.

The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved the East Mariner pipeline project in February. According to Sunoco’s filings to the FERC, this pipeline is intended to relieve ‘oversupply’ of natural gas resources in Western Pa. and the Northeast U.S. market.

A Sunoco spokesperson declined to comment on the planned protest.

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Follow Sam Newhouse on Twitter: @scnewhouse

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