Week-Long Public Hearings Reveal Keystone XL Pipeline Must Be Constructed By Skilled Pipeliners
TULSA, Okla., Sept. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Thousands of concerned citizens voiced opinions over the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline this week through hearings in eight cities hosted by The United States State Department. Proponents of the pipeline say the Keystone XL will bring much needed jobs in a depressed economy, create more than $600 billion in state and local tax revenue, and will not harm the environment.
However, the original Keystone Pipeline has seen more than a dozen minor oil releases along its 2,100 mile route, a point raised by some of the critics of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline. But during this week’s hearings, the State Department learned that every single one of these spills occurred at pipeline pump stations constructed by a non-union and an inferior labor force.
“TransCanada must build the Keystone XL Pipeline with the highly skilled and proven labor force of union pipeliners,” said Danny Hendrix, Business Manager of Tulsa-based United Association Local 798. “In fact, our pipeliners were called in to repair all of the issues raised with the original Keystone Pipeline. Rest assured, when our labor force is used to construct the new Keystone XL, the superior craftsmanship of Local 798 pipeliners will ensure the integrity and safety of the pipeline construction.”
Keystone XL builder TransCanada plans to construct the 1,700-mile pipeline from Alberta, Canada to refineries in Texas. During each of the Department of State hearings, Local 798 pipeliners along with other union laborers testified that the pipeline is needed not only for jobs, but to lessen our dependence on oil imports from other countries.
“When we buy a barrel of oil from OPEC, we get a barrel of oil and a barrel of trouble,” said Hendrix. “By importing our oil from our friends in Canada, we will buy the same barrel of oil, but we also get jobs and an increased tax base from a country who shares the same values as we do.”
State Department hearings will conclude October 7th in Washington, D.C.
“I know the State Department heard us this week, and they will hear us again in Washington. We welcome this process to get our voices heard and we spoke loud and clear not at just one of the hearings, but at every single one of them. America needs this pipeline and we will be there to build it. We will build it right. We will build it to last,” Hendrix added.
About the United Association
The United Association is a multi-craft union whose members are engaged in the fabrication, installation and servicing of piping systems. There are approximately 340,000 highly-skilled United Association members who belong to more than 300 individual local unions across North America. The United Association has been training qualified pipe tradesmen longer than anyone else in the industry, with premier training programs including five-year apprenticeship programs, extensive journeyman training, organized instructor training and certification programs. Local 798 is based in Tulsa and is a member organization of the UA with over 7000 members.
SOURCE United Association Local 798