So the rain is of biblical proportions at this point. Mother Nature must be having a tizzy about something. Who knows maybe she is trying to tell us something. Anyway, one of my pals popped these photos over from West Vincent. I can’t help but wonder if the illustrious Roadmaster has a good row boat?
So I sat there last night and read the articles and came back full circle to my original thought: EMINENT DOMAIN FOR PRIVATE GAIN cloaked as EMINENT DOMAIN FOR PUBLIC PURPOSE.
You see, if Sunoco can get public utility status from the Public Utility Commission (“PUC”) they can ride over the heads of any homeowner and municipality can’t they? With their public utility status comes the power of eminent domain, doesn’t it? They say power corrupts, and can we agree in this case it will indeed?
It is out with the old and in with the new at the 500-acre waterfront facility formerly known as the Sunoco Marcus Hook Refinery, now the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex.
Workers last week ripped down aging petroleum-processing equipment, part of a labyrinth of machinery that has produced gasoline, diesel, and kerosene for more than a century. Other crews built cryogenic storage tanks more than 130 feet tall with three-foot-thick walls that will hold the future: new fuels from the prolific Marcellus Shale region.
Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P., a pipeline company that bought the property for $60 million last year from its sister company, Sunoco Inc., is converting the site into a major center for processing and shipping natural gas liquids.
It In August, Sunoco Logistics won PUC approval setting the stage to convert its cross-state pipeline for ethane. PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson endorsed the move.
“Mariner East not only links producers with new markets, but it also represents a link between the commonwealth’s citizens, well-paying jobs, and a more independent domestic energy future,” he said.
Now Powelson may be asked to play a role in a key vote on whether Sunoco’s plans can move forward. in a key vote on whether Sunoco’s plans can move forward.
So Sunoco was previously just shipping this stuff out of Pennsylvania, right? So if they start peddling the product to residents of Pennsylvania instead of just sucking it out of people’s back yards and corn fields and forests it looks better before the the PUC, right?
Even Moveon.org has gotten involved this is getting so bad. If you live in Chester County or in Pennsylvania, have you signed their petition ? (HINT: you can find it at the bottom of this post.)
As per the Inquirer environmental groups responding thus far are the Delaware Riverkeeper Network, the Clean Air Council, the Pipeline Safety Coalition and the Mountain Watershed Association.
Now if I were Sunoco, the Delaware Riverkeeper Network alone would make me nervous. Which brings me to something I heard. Is it true that Sunoco has retained the former Philadelphia head of the D.E.P or something like that? Some guy named Michael Krancer now with Blank Rome?
A man I know and respect, the former head of the Lower Merion Conservancy Mike Weilbacher wrote about this guy last year in Main Line Media News:
For two years, Bryn Mawr’s Michael Krancer sat on arguably the hottest seat in Harrisburg during one of its hottest times. Until April 15, he was secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, charged with, among other things, pushing forward with Governor Corbett’s election promise of full-speed-ahead fracking.
And he has been unabashedly pro-fracking, writing in a November op-ed piece that the “Marcellus shale formation is the global superstar of natural gas formations and… a key driver in true American energy independence.”
The fifth high-level Corbett official to leave office at the time—another, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources chief Richard Allan was asked to leave only two weeks ago—Krancer often clashed with the state’s environmental interests, the word “controversial” attached to his name in many headlines over the last two years.
I caught up with the former secretary, looking decidedly relaxed, last week in Saxby’s, hoping to probe the last two years with him—after all, it’s not too often a neighbor gets appointed to DEP chief. My goal was to let him tell his story in his words — not argue the merits of his policies, not debate fracking, not ask him the same questions he’s been asked by thousands of other reporters, but instead to find out his current and future plans, including a possible run for Pennsylvania Governor in 2016….On fracking, the core of the controversy, I observed that few Lower Merion residents likely support the practice, Southeastern Pennsylvania being a hotbed of anti-fracking fervor. “Once people go out and see it (fracking),” he replied, “it becomes de-mystified. The drilling rig is only there temporarily, and before, during and after the process you don’t even see the rig. And when it’s done, all that’s left is a piping mechanism.
“I maintain now,” he continued, that it can and has been done safely and carefully—that’s what regulation is about. We have to be careful. Like any operation, the environmental impact has to be managed—and people who do it spend a lot of time managing the environmental impact.”
This is a big article and I found it fascinating. And if this is Sunoco’s new white knight, how does that happen? Or is the DEP not so environmentally sensitive any longer? In just 2008 the PA DEP was filing suit against Sunoco and now this to contemplate? And do you remember what that suit was about? Wasn’t it a crazy 12000-gallon gasoline spill from a ruptured pipeline in Westmoreland County, PA?
Sunoco also filed notice Monday with the PUC that it had retained the Blank Rome L.L.P. law firm to represent it before the PUC. The Blank Rome team is headed by Michael L. Krancer, Gov. Corbett’s former secretary of environmental protection.
(So in case you wanted another reason why no one should vote for Tom Corbett ever again, here is yet another reason, right?)
Everyone should indeed sign the MoveOn.org petition linked below. But people in general need to raise hell with Harrisburg. Our state government is a cesspool of toxic waste water and no matter what our political beliefs, we need to act now. Remember all the horrors we have heard over the years about strip mining? Can it be contemplated that will be a walk in the park if Sunoco gets their way with the PUC? After all if they are changing up lawyers and changing strategy they are hunkering down to fight by any means possible aren’t they?
Eminent domain for private gain is heinous. And eminent domain for private gain cloaked in fake public purpose is even more evil.
Sunoco is digging in Chester County. Time to bring it.
And if you want to contact the PUC they have this convoluted website, but here is the equivalent of the “office directory“:
Chairman & Commissioners
Chairman Robert F. Powelson Phone: 717-787-4301
Vice Chairman John F. Coleman Phone: 717-772-0692
Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer Phone: 717-783-1763
Commissioner Gladys M. Brown Phone: 717-787-1031
Commissioner James H. Cawley Phone: 717-783-1197
The Executive Offices
Jan H. Freeman, Executive Director Phone: 717-787-1035
Director of Regulatory Affairs Phone: 717-783-8156
Lou Ann Hess, Administrative Officer Phone: 717-783-8156
Office of Communications
Bureau Director’s Office
Tom Charles, Director Phone: 717-787-9504
Lori Shumberger, Executive Secretary Phone: 717-783-9998
Jennifer Kocher, Press Secretary Phone: 717-787-5722
Community Relations Phone: 717-787-5722
Office of Administrative Law Judge
Bureau Director’s Office
Charles E. Rainey Jr., Chief Administrative Law Judge Phone: 717-787-1191
Pokim Park, Executive Secretary Phone: 717-783-9959
Kim Hafner, Legal Division Supervisor Phone: 717-705-3822
Herbert R. Nurick, Mediation Coordinator Phone: 717-783-5428
Cindy Lehman, ADR Mediator Phone: 717-783-5413
Susan Hoffner, Case Control Officer Phone: 717-787-4497
I would also say people like Duane Milne, Dan Truitt, and Andy Dinniman need to be contacted. And if no one calls you back from their offices, contact them again. Elected officials work for us, not the other way around. And again, sign the MoveOn Petition.
If you have media contacts or contacts with any other property rights or environmental groups, contact them. Use social media. Don’t be shy. This affects all of us in Pennsylvania if Sunoco has their way with the PUC, not just Chester County.
I don’t know why, but every once in a while when I am editing photos, an image evokes a memory. And not necessarily a visual memory. Some of them are audible memories like a conversation remembered, a snippet out of time.
Such is the case with a photo (see here) that I have named “Long Row to Hoe”.
Once now a fairly long time ago I knew a man who was in essence, a sharecropper’s son. Nothing wrong with that, but it led to the occasional farm analogy.
Anyway, this man used to like to say he was “looking for someone to pull the plow with.” On it’s face it seemed quite romantic a thing to say. Down the road it was discovered it really wasn’t so romantic. But I think that had to do with the true nature of the person, not the phrase.
But good or bad, the phrase and analogy have stuck with me because if it is to be taken in a positive light it is an analogy for a partnership. And in my opinion good relationships are good partnerships as well. That is not all they are, but that is part of the formula. You know the formula of love and mutual respect and so on?
It was what it was, but when I was editing my photos that phrase popped into my head when I reached this photo. That and the story my friend Sara told me of driving past a farm on a road in Lancaster County where you could see an old man instructing an equally old woman on plowing or planting a field. As in she was doing all the work and he was directing traffic so to speak.
I hope this photo to be something more positive than that in reality. Or I would like to think so. It could be a mother showing her young boys how to plant. And I hope it’s that. Otherwise, it is indeed a long road to hoe….with an overseer in a plaid shirt….
EAST PIKELAND — PennDOT crews said the Rapps Dam Covered Bridge is structurally unsound after a tractor-trailer carrying flowers damaged it by driving through it.
Although a sign warns that the bridge can only accommodate vehicles that are 10 feet high, the tractor-trailer drove into the bridge heading south on Rapps Dam Road around 9:45…Broken a beams hung from the covered bridge’s rafters or lay in splinters on the deck of the bridge and the roadway leading out.
Cpl. Ben Martin said the truck was driven by Antoine Branham hauling flowers Centerton Nursery, a family-owned nursery in Bridgeton, N.J., when it went into the bridge. Branham was driving a leased truck at the time.
A representative for Centerton who did not give her name said they had no comment on the incident and would have no information to offer.
PennDOT crews surveyed the damage on the bridge and said it was structurally unsound. Cones and orange fencing blocked it off and will continue to for the foreseeable future
Now the media reports no comment from the business but I would have to ask if I was going to interview them how they could have a truck that big with a licensed driver think they could drive over an old covered bridge? But I can only ask that question here.
I am appalled and truthfully this driver’s actions could put this nursery into serious financial hock, because face it, aren’t they ultimately responsible for this accident if he was driving for them? And I notice that 6ABC says driver was on the job four days? So why wasn’t someone driving with him if that new? That is a big truck.
This bridge was built around 1866, right? Originally? 6ABC WPVI says that the bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places too. I am so sad about this bridge. I hope it gets rebuilt. But we are talking about PENNDot, right?
PHOENIXVILLE, Pa. – April 29, 2014 (WPVI) — Officials have closed a road in East Pikeland Twp., Pa. after a tractor trailer was driven through a covered bridge, heavily damaging the structure.It happened Tuesday morning on Rapps Dam Road at the Rapps Dam Covered Bridge, which spans French Creek.
Police say a truck carrying potted plants was heading over the bridge from Route 113 toward Route 23.
The truck apparently made it all the way through the bridge, but not before tearing out most of the wooden support beams…..Police say the driver of the truck was Antoine Branham, and he had been on the job just four days…The bridge was originally constructed by Benjamin F. Hartman in 1866 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.