20 highlights of 2020 from our team at Energy Transfer
These real-life heroes have made tremendous sacrifices for the betterment of our society. They have treated sick patients, ensured we have food to eat, delivered and manufactured the products that keep us safe, developed vaccines to give us hope, and produced and moved the energy we need to keep the lights and heat on.
Communities have also come together in extraordinary ways to help those in need. At Energy Transfer, we are honored to be a small part of this effort; we take great pride in giving back as a company and empowering our employees to engage with their communities.
And importantly at this particular time, we are proud of the critical ways our industry supports those at the forefront of fighting the virus and keeping American families safe and healthy. The connection between the energy, chemical and manufacturing industries is never more clear – or more important – than when it comes to healthcare.
As we close out the year, we take a look back at 20 ways we have helped to support Pennsylvanians in 2020 through our business operations, community partnerships and environmental stewardship programs. Here’s to a brighter 2021.
This year, Energy Transfer officially surpassed $1 million in grants to emergency response organizations in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan from our First Responder Fund. Since 2016, the First Responder Fund has helped emergency response organizations enhance rescue capabilities through training, replacing or upgrading rescue equipment including personal protective equipment and turnout gear, purchasing rescue engines and all-terrain vehicles, upgrading facilities and more.
The Cokesbury United Methodist Church near Marcus Hook launched its “Fun Friday” program throughout the summer months, offering educational activities and weekend meals to supplement a weekday meal program offered by Chichester School District. Supported by a partnership with our team at Energy Transfer, this program proved even more important to residents of Marcus Hook, Trainer and Linwood in Delaware County this year as families faced added financial strain due to the pandemic.
#3 – Supporting Food Banks Throughout Pennsylvania
Philabundance – We have supported Philabundance for more than 16 years as one of its largest annual funders. From providing fuel grants and volunteering to sort and pack food, to supporting their Camp Out for Hunger and Community Kitchen programs, we are proud to play a role in providing hundreds of thousands of meals to those in need throughout the Philadelphia region.
Central PA Food Bank – Energy Transfer donated $15,000 to a collaborative effort to collect food and raise funds to help feed people in central Pennsylvania.
Faith Restorations – We donated $10,000 this year to assist the Beaver County food bank in their mission to assist families impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
Even though the pandemic prevented us from participating in most of the live events this year, we continued our partnership with the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania and have donated a total of $450,000 since 2019. Employees submitted videos for the virtual competitions and award ceremonies, participated in the Pittsburgh Polar Plunge, and competed virtually in the Unified Sports Experience Challenge in the Standing Long Jump event for the 2020 Virtual Summer Games.
#5 – Honoring Veterans
Energy Transfer employees showed their support of veterans in multiple ways this year by participating in Marcus Hook borough’s annual Veterans Day Parade as we saluted the brave men and women who fought and continue to fight for our country. As a clear sign of 2020, we handed out hand sanitizer to those in attendance.
Our office in Newtown Square participated in a company-wide Halloween Candy Give Back campaign which mails candy to over 60 military, veteran and first responder units. Energy Transfer also purchased a brick to help with the restoration of the Delaware County Veterans Memorial, which held a rededication ceremony on Veterans Day.
A tremendous amount of work goes into educating and building the workforce of tomorrow. Two outstanding leaders in this effort are southwest PA-based Catalyst Connection and Penn Highlands Community College. We were proud to partner with these organizations to sponsor and participate in virtual career development events to provide information and advice to hundreds of high school students and administrators throughout the region.
#7 – Planksgiving Challenge for CHOP
Employees at MHIC raised $10,500 this year for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia through the “Planksgiving” fitness challenge. Participants find sponsors to contribute funds for each minute they successfully hold a plank position. While we have participated in this fun initiative for three years, this year was especially meaningful in light of the pandemic and increased strain on hospitals.
A major storyline of 2020 was the role that manufacturers and supply chains played in making the products and materials that are essential to the pandemic response. The NGLs transported through the Mariner East pipeline system are the building blocks of many of these products.
Propane is used to make isopropanol, which is a key active ingredient in certain hand sanitizers that have been critical in limiting the spread of the virus. Also derived from propane, polypropylene is the building block used to make N95 masks, hospital gowns and sanitary wipes.
The combination of propane, butane and ethane makes polystyrene, which is used to create tissue culture trays, test tubes and petri dishes. Ethane is used to make ethylene, which is a key ingredient in oxygen masks, IV infusion sets, surgical gloves, face shields and ventilators, and more.
For those of us living in the Mid-Atlantic region, we are accustomed to cold spells during the winter. The expansion of the Mariner East pipeline system, combined with transformations being made at our Marcus Hook facility, has led to increased availability of propane to be delivered by truck to local customers.
In fact, domestic propane being transported via pipeline to Marcus Hook has brought Pennsylvania from a propane shortage to a surplus. This is crucial as an increasing number of Pennsylvanians switch from home heating oil to propane, not only lowering their energy bills but also lowering emissions.
#10 – Major Construction Progress on Mariner East 2 and 2X
We continue to make significant progress toward the completion of construction of both the Mariner East 2 and Mariner East 2X pipelines, which are now 96.6% and 99.5% complete, respectively. We look forward to completing these lines and making them fully operational in 2021.
Communication with local governments and stakeholders is a top priority. With construction and a significant portion of restoration now behind us across the commonwealth, we have conducted a number of “closeout” meetings with municipalities across the Mariner East pipeline route. These meetings give the construction team an opportunity to say thank you to communities, while serving as an introduction to Energy Transfer’s Operations personnel who will manage ongoing pipeline operations and maintenance moving forward.
#12 – Pennsylvania Access to Help Meet Energy Demand
Pennsylvania Access is a new initiative for Energy Transfer that will ultimately bring refined products from Midwest refineries into Pennsylvania. This will provide an efficient, inexpensive way to meet demand for fuels on which Pennsylvanians rely every day, including gasoline and diesel.
As part of our Mariner East project, our Marcus Hook facility is transforming into a world-class NGL hub. The transformation continues to support hundreds of family-sustaining jobs for skilled tradesmen and women as part of the two-year Project Labor Agreement with the Philadelphia Building Trades. There are currently 225 full-time employees at Marcus Hook, which is an increase from about 50 at the start of the project.
In May, CPV Fairview Energy Center in Cambria County made history when they announced that the plant’s commissioning would include a 25% ethane mix from the Mariner East pipeline system to power the facility. Not only is the plant the first of its kind, but it’s also one of the most efficient in the world. The plant provides 1,100 megawatts of needed electricity to the state’s power grid.
#15 – Proctor Heirs Gathering System Complete in Northeast PA
We completed the 12-mile gathering pipeline on State Game Lands in Bradford County, PA, connecting well pads to our existing Wheelerville Pipeline. The system is now completely in service.
#16 – MERO and CoRE Trainings
Building relationships between emergency planners, pipeline operators and first responders is a critical aspect of safe and collaborative pipeline operations. Our Mariner Emergency Responder Outreach (MERO) Program provides training for emergency responders on responding to potential NGL incidents along pipelines. While some training had to be postponed due to COVID-19, we were able to safely hold 24 sessions this year with 536 attendees. To date, we have trained nearly 3,000 first responders.
We also sponsored additional emergency response training with other pipeline operators, through the Paradigm Coordinated Response Exercise (CoRE) program. Preparedness activities included emergency responder training, facility tours and public information mailers.
#17 – Keeping the Community Informed
This year we held several tele-town halls throughout the commonwealth to continue to engage with residents, local legislators and other stakeholders. We are committed to engaging with our communities and will look to schedule additional tele-town halls in the new year. Below is a snapshot of the ones we did in 2020.
Bradford, Sullivan, Lycoming, Susquehanna and Union Counties – more than 1,800 total participants
Chester County – more than 2,800 total participants
Chester County – more than 1,100 total participants
Cumberland County – more than 70 total participants
#18 – Aspen Cut Gameland Habitat Project
This year, Energy Transfer subsidiary Regency Marcellus Gathering LLC (Regency) began working with the PA Game Commission to create 40 acres of early successional habitat on State Game Lands 12 and 36 in Bradford County. Habitat improvement is just one of the ways we remain committed to protecting Pennsylvania’s environment and wildlife.
In September, Energy Transfer donated a pontoon boat and trailer to The Friends of Raystown Lake, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and preserving the natural and recreational resources of Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County. In addition to upkeep efforts on the lake, the Striped Bass Association will use it to stock fish, and Juniata College will use it as a floating classroom for students to survey for water quality and invasive plant species. The boat will support the efforts of the Marklesburg Fire Company.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced this year the 229-acre expansion of State Game Lands made possible by land donated by Energy Transfer’s wholly owned subsidiary, Regency Marcellus Gas Gathering, LLC. The donated land includes 154 acres in Mount Pleasant Township and 75 acres in North Centre Township of primarily wooded forest, which is common habitat for deer, grouse, bear and turkey.