I have just returned home after attending the December membership and staff meetings. Congratulations to all the officers that were reelected and the newly elected ones. If you ran and did not get elected, hold your head up high. Members like you are the reason we have a great local union. You show up, participate, attend the meetings, and are the back bone of this organization. For unions to survive, there must be participation in union elections, activities and meetings.
Danny and Wade have done a great job putting together a program that entails turning all 798 members and their families into advocates for our pipeline work in the future. It will be called “PIPELINERS ACTION PAGE.” This should be completed in January. It is very important that every member, your families and friends participate. Our leadership has gone to great extremes to try to ensure we all have a bright future, so we too can live the American Dream and be able to retire and keep drawing our pension for decades to come. “IT IS UP TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU TO STEP UP AND DO YOUR PART” just as we all did on the welding rigs.
Danny reported on the work outlook at the December meeting, and it looks very bright for the next few years. We just completed procedures for several large proj- ects in Charlie, Rick and David’s areas. Associated Pipeline picked up 24 miles of 48-inch heavy wall near Corpus Christi, TX. The procedures have been completed, and the start date will be approximately mid-January.
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I am writing this Blue Light report after returning from the 2017 Marcellus-Utica Conference. This year’s conference had a more positive atmosphere due to expected deregulation of the current permitting process. During the conference I listened to gas company CEOs speak about how great the demand is for Northeast Marcellus gas. When there is demand, you need supply, and that is where 798 steps in. The pipelines we build supply the gas needed as our country continues to grow and inevitably demands more energy. There are quite a few projects scheduled for this year, and in 2018 that will help with the supply vs. demand issue that we currently face.
I am writing my report from my office in Colorado where we have had a hard winter this year. Spring is starting to try to peak through, and we are all ready to get the year started off right by attending the Local Union 798 Steward School in Tulsa, OK.
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.
Brothers and Sisters, I am writing this report from West Texas while checking on non-union jobs. The work out here is still slow, but a few smaller jobs are going on. It seems the drilling is starting to pick up in this area so that’s always a good sign for us. As usual, when the work slows the non-union waste no time slashing wages and good conditions are nonexistent. Many are working for contract wages with no overtime, furnishing consumables or liability insurance.