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Blue Light Report - March / April 2018

Brothers and Sisters,

Hopefully, by the time you receive this report the work this spring will have sprung. I fully expect that we will shadow our record numbers and possibly could shatter the record of 12 million manhours set back in 1968.

Could the work just dry up and disappear? If you spent your whole career in the pipeline industry, you’ve seen it go from wide open to dead still in a matter of months. It is important that you, as a member of Local 798, understand that almost every piece of fossil fuel infrastructure will be contested going forward into the future. Our opponents have developed new strategies to increase the financial risks of these pipeline projects. Blocking and stalling permits causes a viable concern for banks who finance the work. Bankers do not like risk, they like certainty. However, the strategy of delay is more than just economics. It is an opportunity for these opponents to not only raise “awareness,” but at the same time raise funds to oppose future projects.

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The Eastern System Upgrade project is a critical expansion of the existing Millennium Pipeline in New York. The project will add nearly 8 miles of looped pipeline in Orange County, provide needed upgrades to a compressor station in Delaware County and construction of a new compressor station in Sullivan County. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued a favorable environmental assessment (EA) in March 2017, indicating the project is on track for a final approval by the end of the year. Timely approval will keep the project on track to begin service in fall 2018.

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In your words, share how your life and your community is benefitted by the construction and use of natural gas pipelines.