FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JANUARY 8, 2018
Contact: Karen Feridun, Berks Gas Truth, 610-678-7726
Berks Gas Truth Statement on Econsult’s Mariner East Report
Kutztown, PA –
Statement by Berks Gas Truth founder Karen Feridun
Today’s Econsult report on the Mariner East project is full of the same magical thinking that has made it one of the go-to groups for companies looking for the shiniest reports their money can buy.
Berks Gas Truth is no stranger to the fantastical claims of economic bounty the group’s reports make. In 2015, Econsult conjured up some impressive numbers for the report the PennEast Pipeline Company commissioned. The claim that made headlines was one that said the pipeline would create more than 12,000 jobs. The text of the report did not support that claim. The vast majority of the 12,000 jobs would be temporary construction jobs and other temporary ancillary positions.
In a brilliant turn, Keith Brown, a Times of Trenton reporter at the time, challenged PennEast spokeswoman Patricia Kornick on the numbers. He asked if the job of the operator of the taco truck that pulled up to the construction site at lunch would be one of the supported jobs. Ms. Kornick replied, “It would fall under the food services category.” According to Kornick, only 21 permanent jobs across two states would be directly dedicated to pipeline maintenance.
Just four days before that report came out, Econsult issued a similarly positive report about Mariner East. It was fiction then and it’s fiction now. Since its earlier report, Econsult has tempered its language a bit and is more careful about stating that jobs will be supported, not created – an important distinction.
Nevertheless, one thing has not changed. Econsult’s reports continue to focus only one side of the balance sheet. Its reports ignore the cost of the impacts to health, safety, and the environment. In the several months since the Mariner East 2 pipeline project was approved, about 100 drilling mud spills have plagued communities along the pipeline route. Private water supplies have been fouled or have gone dry in several locations.
One particularly cynical bullet point on Econsult’s fact sheet of its most recent report boasts the property taxes that will go to the Chichester School District in Delaware County. Some of the most vocal opponents of Mariner East are the parents of students who attend classes in the 40 schools within the impact zone of the pipeline.
Nobody but the company is buying what Econsult is selling.