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Energy Tomorrow Blog

Keystone XL's New Labor Agreement and the Politics of Pipelines

keystone xl pipeline  safe operations  jobs  labor unions  economic growth 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 7, 2020

News item from Bloomberg: TC Energy Corp. has reached agreements with four labor unions to build the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline – a move that could amplify political pressure on Joe Biden, who has threatened to rip up permits for the project even as he courts blue-collar workers.

Details in the announcement from TC Energy, Keystone XL’s builder: The project labor agreement (PLA) is with the Laborers International Union of North America (LiUNA), the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the International Union of Operating Engineers, and the United Association of Union Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA); Keystone XL will have 10,000 high-paying construction jobs, primarily filled by union workers; 2,000 unionized workers will start building some of the project’s 28 planned U.S. pump stations this fall, according to Bloomberg.

Overall, Keystone XL is projected to support 42,000 U.S. jobs and generate $2 billion in earnings for U.S. workers during pipeline construction, according to the U.S. State Department, which also found that the project won’t significantly impact climate or the environment.


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Studies Show Industry Offers Better Jobs, Greater Opportunity

oil and natural gas jobs  unions 

Sam Winstel

Sam Winstel
Posted July 17, 2020

Some lawmakers have proposed putting hundreds of thousands of Americans to work in clean energy jobs while moving the U.S. away from natural gas and oil and, presumably, from the jobs our industry supports.

Somebody should check to see if that’s what working men and women want.

A new study released this week by North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) shows that workers appreciate jobs in natural gas and oil over “green-collar” jobs – because they pay better, last longer and provide greater opportunities.

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Delivering the Second Wave of U.S. LNG Mega-Projects

lng exports  workforce  investments  labor unions 

Dean Foreman

Dean Foreman
Posted August 28, 2019

U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) – growing to a record 4.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) in the third quarter of 2019 – have been a catalyst for new natural gas resource development, U.S. pipeline and natural gas processing investments and the U.S. economy. ...

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects U.S. LNG exports to more than double again by 2025, which holds the potential for even greater domestic economic benefits, plus a central, emerging role for U.S. energy leadership in global markets.

Realizing these benefits is critically dependent on the United States’ ability to build and deliver an unprecedented number of multi-billion-dollar U.S. mega-projects over the next several years. When ”demographics are destiny” and the average age of a welder in the U.S. already is over 57 years, we should remain optimistic about the potential to build these projects but also pragmatic about the policies and business environment needed to achieve the goals.

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Joint Worker Safety Program to Help Sustain U.S. Energy

workforce  unions  infrastructure  safety standards 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 18, 2018

The deep relationship between the U.S. natural gas and oil industry and America’s building trades unions – the men and women who build much of our country’s energy infrastructure – is getting deeper.

In remarks to the annual legislative conference of North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), API President and CEO Jack Gerard announced a new program to join the best practices of the two organizations in a new safety initiative, applicable to all energy infrastructure construction.

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Government Uncertainty Hinders World-Class Infrastructure

pipelines  infrastructure  labor unions  south dakota  economic benefits 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted October 5, 2016

Our country has significant infrastructure needs. Here, the focus is on energy, but America’s roads, bridges, airports, ports and more all need attention, too. All of them – energy and otherwise – also need government approval processes that are fair and efficient so that important infrastructure projects can be built in a timely manner. 

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Locking Arms on Energy Infrastructure

infrastructure  natural gas pipelines  economic growth  jobs  climate  labor unions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 16, 2016

We kick off “Infrastructure Week 2016,” a seven-day focus on America’s infrastructure needs, sponsored by more than 100 trade associations and business and labor groups, with a conversation API President and CEO Jack Gerard and Sean McGarvey, president of North America’s Building Trades Unions, had last week with reporters covering a range of infrastructure and energy policy issues. Highlights below.

Gerard and McGarvey framed the infrastructure discussion by pointing out the way new pipelines, pipeline expansions and other projects are needed to harness America’s energy revolution and spread the benefits of the new energy abundance – to consumersworkers, businesses and to the betterment of the environment – to all parts of the country.

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Energy, Infrastructure and Shared Goals for Progress

infrastructure  pipelines  oil and natural gas  unions  jobs  economic growth  vote4energy 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 20, 2016

Americans in the building construction trades know the importance of new energy infrastructure. Building things is what they do. In recent years they’ve recognized the value of partnering with the oil and natural gas industry on infrastructure projects to deliver energy, create jobs and boost the economy – all benefits of America’s ongoing energy revolution.

At this week’s Washington legislative conference of North America’s Building Trades Union, NABTU President Sean McGarvey listed energy infrastructure among the union’s top priorities in 2016 and noted the importance of forming partnerships to advance shared goals, such as infrastructure:

“There are other ways, too, in which our unions are building that go beyond the jobsite, such as building a new labor-management paradigm in the United States through formal partnerships with entire industries and individual companies.”

Nowhere is this dynamic more timely and important than in the effort to build new natural gas pipelines in the Northeast, where constricted capacity historically has contributed to higher energy costs during peak winter months.

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Jobs and the Keystone XL

keystone xl pipeline  labor unions  american jobs  economic benefits  canadian oil sands  congress  president obama  state department 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 13, 2015

As the Keystone XL pipeline debate in Congress continues, working Americans are pushing back against those – including President Obama – who dismiss as “temporary” the jobs the project would support.   

North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) published an open letter to members of Congress that asks a simple question: “When did our careers and livelihoods become fodder for disdain and ridicule?”

Great question, because disparaging the more than 42,000 jobs Keystone XL would support during its construction – according to the U.S. State Department – has become a standard line of attack from Keystone XL opponents, from the president on down.

The union ad makes clear that those who work in the construction trades have had it with politicians who are double-tongued about the need to put Americans back to work and the need for infrastructure investment – while brushing off the way Keystone XL could help with both.

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Time for Political Leadership on Keystone XL

keystone xl pipeline  canada  congress  oil sands  labor unions 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted June 16, 2014

This week the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to vote on bipartisan legislation that would advance the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline – a $5.3 billion, privately financed infrastructure project that the U.S. State Department says would generate more than 42,000 jobs during its construction phase while contributing more than $3 billion to our economy.

Congress is acting because the administration has not – not in more than five years of review by the administration, during which the project has cleared five environmental reviews by the State Department. Congressional leadership on Keystone XL is about the administration’s lack of clear leadership on the Keystone XL.

As the vote approaches, API President and CEO Jack Gerard and Sean McGarvey, president of the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO, talked about the pipeline during a conference call. Both pointed to developments in Iraq and the ongoing standoff between Ukraine and Russia as reminders of how important it is for the United States to secure its energy future – and the significance of the Keystone XL in that equation.

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Americans Choose Keystone XL, Jobs and Security

keystone xl pipeline  economic security  labor unions  oil sands  canada 

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted April 24, 2014

Americans support building the Keystone XL pipeline. A new Harris Poll shows that by nearly a 4-to-1 margin Americans agree the pipeline is in the national interest. By continuing to put off a decision on Keystone XL, the Obama administration is casting its lot with the 1. On this issue, a lonely number indeed. API’s Cindy Schild, during a conference call with reporters:

“Friday’s announcement by the administration seems to dismiss not only congressional support but American support as well. President Obama and his advisers have apparently determined to put their political interests over the national interest and side with a small group of activists led by a billionaire instead of the labor community and the vast majority of ordinary Americans, regardless of harm to the middle class.”

For all the talk from this administration about building up the middle class, its lack of action on Keystone XL is hurting middle-class Americans.

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