Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline project was dealt a major blow today as communities took to the polls to elect candidates vowing to stand up to the pipeline and the corporation behind it.
Local organizers propelled candidates to victory in Uwchlan and West Goshen Townships, where new anti-pipeline majorities on both communities’ Boards of Supervisors could pose a serious challenge to the future of Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 gas liquids pipeline.
The candidates -- Mayme Baumann and Bill Miller in Uwchlan Township, and Mary LaSota and Robin Stuntebeck in West Goshen Township -- represent communities along the route of Sunoco’s Mariner East 2 pipeline.
Baumann and Miller vowed to use Uwchlan’s zoning regulations to prevent construction that would put the pipeline too close to occupied structures like schools and homes. In response to a questionnaire circulated by Food & Water Action, LaSota and Stuntebeck committed to investigating the feasibility of enforcing similar local laws in West Goshen.
“These victories are the result of thousands of conversations with voters in Uwchlan and West Goshen about an issue that people care deeply about: stopping the Mariner East 2 pipeline,” said Sam Bernhardt, senior organizer with Food & Water Action. “Mayme Baumann and Bill Miller were willing to stand up for their community. Their community stood up with them, joining us to get thousands of their neighbors to the polls.”
Food & Water Action brought out an unprecedented number of voters to the polls for a municipal election. The political arm of Food & Water Watch used canvassing, phone calls, and text messages to identify 3,300 voters in Uwchlan and West Goshen who were concerned about the Mariner East 2 pipeline. In the 72 hours before the election, campaign volunteers then had 2,600 conversations with voters to remind them to get to the polls. Organizers achieved these goals by knocking on tens of thousands of doors.
The Mariner East 2 pipeline would carry highly volatile gas liquids 350 miles across Pennsylvania, terminating at the Marcus Hook refinery south of Philadelphia, where much of the material will be exported to Europe.