Dear Brothers and Sisters,
President Trump has been busy his first week on the job. Just as he promised on the campaign trail, he has pushed for the construction to finish on the Dakota Access and the Keystone XL. I’m not sure when we might see the KXL, but I feel fairly confident that the DAPL will be tied-in at the river before long. Many people, including myself, are wondering about the future pipeline permits now that FERC has only two commissioners. This board usually requires three members for a quorum to make decisions, so moving forward this board needs at least one appointment to fulfill its obligation. Even if an appointment is made, that person would have to be vetted through the Senate, which could take weeks or months. Who knows? At least six major projects totaling more than 10 billion dollars hang in the balance. This includes the Nexus, 250 miles of 36”/42”; PennEast,120 miles of 36”; and Northern Access Pipeline, 97 miles of 24”. Ten billion dollars worth of work is the exact reason we must continue to reach out through our Action Page to advocate for this infrastructure.
The good news is that on February 3 (the last day of three commissioners), FERC did approve the Rover Pipeline, which consists of 474 miles of 42” (MI, OH, PA, WV) and 240 miles of laterals (WV, PA, OH) 24”-42”. On the same day, FERC also approved the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline (MD, VA, NC, SC) with 57 miles of 30” and 126 miles of 42”. Hopefully, job notifications for both projects will be forthcoming by the time you read the Blue Light. Even with these new challenges and obstacles in our way the work outlook remains very bright for the next few years.
We have recently started negotiations for the National Pipeline Agreement. Although we have not settled, I do anticipate that we will have a ratified agreement soon.
Steward School 2017 is upon us; I would like to extend an invitation to every member to attend. If you have never been, what are you waiting on? Monday, April 10, kicks the week off with our charity golf tournament benefiting our scholarship fund. Tuesday, April 11, a BBQ at the Training Center will be hosted by Lincoln Electric, and on Wednesday, April 12, school begins. Wednesday evening the Ladies of 798 will host their annual basket auction fundraiser. Thursday morning, April 13, it’s back to business with the interpretation of the contract. During the evening, we will honor our members with 50 or more years of service with dinner and entertainment. Friday, April 14, we will conclude the contract session at noon and head back to the Training Center for the crawfish and shrimp boil hosted by Miller Electric. The whole week will not only be educational, but a fun-filled atmosphere for meeting new people and visiting with good friends. If you are expecting to work as a Welder Foreman, Pipeman or job Steward, I too am expecting something---you to be here. As always, I am proud to say “I work for you, the greatest pipeliners in the world.”
Daniel C. Hendrix
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I want to thank everyone for their calls and letters of condolences concerning my father, Doyle Hendrix, on his passing. I was truly blessed to have him for 82 years and to have him as a mentor my whole life. His face and voice will be with me for as long as I live. I am grateful for that and grateful for the outpouring of sympathy from the membership.
I want to start by thanking every member that is doing their part to make the Action Network a success. We’ve had several opportunities lately to take action with the Cheyenne Connector Project, the Northeast Supply Enhancement, Jordan Cove Project, the Line 5 Project, and the Line 3 Project.
The current number of members on the out-of-work list is as follows: Welders – 1,287; Journeyman – 207; and Helpers – 1,655. The out-of-work numbers do not reflect the members who are working building trades and still on the out-of-work list.
401(k) Plan We frequently are asked about taking a loan against a member’s 401(k) balance. The Pipeline Industry 401(k) Plan does not allow participant loans. 401(k) loan repayment must be set up as a deduction from payroll. Due to the nature of the construction industry, working for different contractors for various time frames doesn’t allow for consistent repayment of the loan, which would cause the loan to be in default.