You can “hear” the indignation in the Philadelphia Inquirer article. Mariner East 2 (ME2) Pipeline, which (according to antis) shouldn’t be allowed to continue their construction activities, is not only continuing said activities in Chester County, PA, ME2 is going to put a pipeline right through the middle of a (gasp) girl’s softball field! When the season is just about to begin. HOW DARE THEY?!
MDN editor Jim Willis has a great-niece who plays competitive softball for a team near Scranton. He knows how seriously the kids, and their parents, are about these teams. We’re not belittling a wholesome activity like girl’s softball. But come on! ME2 will build through a Little League field (not even high school!), and it’s like, the end of the world. These kids lives will be shattered. Forever changed.
Have we really become this fragile as a society? Nobody can think of an alternative, like “Use the softball field down the road at the local church for a few months instead?” Are we *that* far gone?
Energy Transfer, builder of ME2, has said they’ll find an alternative location and once they are done building, the girls will have a brand new softball field second to none at the original location. Yet the “adults” are squealing like the little girls they coach because they don’t want to be inconvenienced for a few months.
With opening day just two weeks away, little girls in hooded sweatshirts and muddy cleats bounced around infields throughout West Whiteland Township Saturday at their first softball practice. But officials with the Exton Little League fear Sunoco’s accelerated plans for construction of the Mariner East 2 pipeline may end the season before it begins.
“It just couldn’t come at a worse time.” said Greg Pfeifer, the league’s vice president for softball.
The Exton Little League has known that the controversial pipeline could impact its fields at Meadowbrook Manor Park, a sliver of green space on Swedesford Road beside the Exton Square Mall. The league has been in discussions with Sunoco and Percheron, its contractor, for years, said Dave Stevenson, the league’s president.
Stevenson said he’d been assured the work would not disrupt a season on the fields, which the league leases from the Meadbowbrook Manor Homeowners Association.
“On Friday, we were told they are planning on starting the work in two weeks,” Stevenson said Saturday morning, noting the pipeline project would dig right through the outfield.
Vicki Granado, a spokesperson for Energy Transfer Partners, the Sunoco Pipeline LP’s parent company, said a “breakdown in communication” occurred between the company, the league, and the HOA.
“We will work with Exton Little League to ensure the girls have a place to play what is sure to be a great season,” Granado said in an email Saturday. “Once construction is complete, we will rebuild the facilities to provide the Exton Little League a first-class playing field going forward.”
Stevenson said the league has already finished registrations and volunteers recently came to spread the new infield mix, which cost about $1,500. There are other fields in West Whiteland, Stevenson said, but many are already booked and require permit applications and approvals. The league has already scheduled 50-plus games at Meadowbrook Manor.
“We knew it was coming but didn’t know when,” he said. “We told them we want to play our season, that we don’t want to do our field improvements but they said, ‘Go ahead, there’s nothing in the works.’ ”
Approximately 100 girls ages 3 to 13 play in the league, Pfeifer said. The season would be over by late June or July, he said, which raises the question: Why can’t Sunoco wait a few months?
Stevenson believes Sunoco is pushing the pace out of fear that an injunction could halt work. The pipeline is part of a $5.1 billion effort by Sunoco to move natural gas liquids to a refinery at Marcus Hook. A Sunoco community relations manager is expected to meet with West Whiteland officials Monday evening, Stevenson said.
State Sen. Andy Dinniman (D., Chester) called out Sunoco for having a “complete lack of respect for local communities.”
“Even for Sunoco/ETP, this is a new low – an all-time low. What’s more American than some kids playing baseball or softball? And they want us to put our community traditions and our family activities aside for a pipeline that’s carrying natural gas liquids to Europe?” Dinniman said in a press release Friday. “No company, no matter how big and powerful it thinks it is, should be threatening to kick kids off our playing fields. I say, ‘Stop this nonsense and play ball.’”*
Notice that anti-fossil fuel State Sen. Andy “Tony Soprano” Dinniman poked his nose into the matter. Disgusting opportunist.
*Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer (Mar 23, 2019) – Pipeline project could foul up girls softball season in Chester County
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