Michael Williams

  • signed NWP 12 Support Petition 2021-05-18 03:36:05 -0500

    Support Nationwide Permit 12 in Critical Lawsuit

    On May 3, 2021, a coalition of five environmental groups filed a lawsuit with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Montana federal court, alleging that the body failed to consider environmental harms when it re-issued Nationwide Permit 12 (NWP 12) to build oil and gas pipelines across streams. Industry opponents have long argued this permit should not be used for larger pipeline projects and are using this lawsuit as leverage to add fatal roadblocks to critical projects, jeopardizing pipeliner jobs across the country.

    Sign our petition below supporting the utilization of NWP 12 for pipeline projects, as it ensures that all infrastructure meets the Army Corps’ high standards for environmental sustainability and safety, while keeping projects on schedule and securing good jobs for industry craftsmen. We will submit this to the appropriate federal court district office.

    RE: Case No. CV-21-47-GF-BMM; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ 2021 Issuance of Nationwide Permit 12

    Dear Secretary: 

    As an advocate for responsible, efficient energy infrastructure development, I support the use of Nationwide Permit (NWP) 12 and am disappointed to see this important permit under legal scrutiny once again.

    The ability to utilize Nationwide Permit 12 is critical for the development and maintenance of our nation’s vital infrastructure projects, including gas, oil and renewable energy. This court decision could lead to significant roadblocks in the already strenuous permitting process, ultimately jeopardizing jobs for the American workforce at a time when we are just beginning to recover from the COVID-19 economic impacts.

    NWP 12 has been issued for important infrastructure projects for decades precisely because regulators understand that it ensures that projects meet the Army Corps’ high standards for environmental safety, while preventing costly delays in project development.

    This case is particularly frustrating because it is the second time in as many years that a suit has been brought against NWP 12. The U.S. Supreme Court partially reversed a district court’s decision in 2020 that the Army Corps couldn’t utilize NWP 12 because it hadn’t “adequately assessed” the 2017 version of the permit’s impacts under the Endangered Species Act. The Supreme Court’s decision ultimately reinstated this permit for all projects – except Keystone XL, of course – because it recognized the scrutiny the Army Corps places on its review process for NWP 12. We hope decision makers come to the same conclusion in this case.

    I support the use of Nationwide Permit 12, particularly for oil and gas pipelines, for the following key reasons:

    • Prohibiting certain pipeline projects from utilizing NWP 12 could require new and lengthy permitting review and cause costly delays to project development, jeopardizing good jobs for the American workforce and denying critical tax revenue to communities;
    • There is a demonstrated need for more pipelines in the U.S. to fully harness the benefits of domestic energy, specifically to serve communities that are under-served due to a lack of pipeline capacity. It is in our nation’s best interest to support a streamlined NWP 12 program that provides the needed certainty to move projects forward in a timely manner;
    • The Army Corps has reiterated that NWPs only authorize activities that have minimal cumulative adverse effect on the environment, and all NWP 12 projects that may affect listed species are subject to project-specific consultation. Therefore, the issuance of NWP 12 has no effect on species listed under the Clean Water and Endangered Species Act.

    The NWP 12 program has been critical in ensuring the efficient and safe development of infrastructure of all kinds – including renewable energy projects. The potential program upheaval stemming from this court ruling could be devastating as it threatens jobs for construction workers across the country, impedes economic growth and hinders our nation’s ability to harness our abundant supply of domestic natural gas and oil. This is why I urge those in power to protect the use of this critical permit.


    Supporter of the American Energy Industry

  • signed Be an Energy Voter Petition via 2021-02-02 04:34:41 -0600

    Pledge To Be An Energy Voter

    With the right leadership and vision, we can ensure all Americans benefit from our nation’s emergence as an energy leader. It’s time to fulfill our bright energy future; it’s time to vote for candidates that support Local 798 jobs and the work that we do.

    Join Local 798 by signing the petition and becoming an Energy Voter.

    I understand the urgent need for clean, affordable and domestically sourced energy in my community, across my state and in throughout the nation. That is why I stand with political candidates and elected officials who show their support for an energy pipeline network that will safely and efficiently transport the nation’s abundant supply of domestic natural gas and oil supplies.

    America is leading the world in oil and natural gas production. Working together, we can do even more. Producing, refining and transporting more domestic oil and natural gas will mean more abundant energy – and that means more affordable energy for American families and businesses.

    We know there is enough potential domestic energy to serve all residential, business and industrial needs across the country. Yet, support for critical energy infrastructure is lacking among our political leaders.

    To support my livelihood, my family and my community, I will enter the voting booth informed about how political leaders stand on the issue of energy infrastructure development. I will do my part to help elect leaders who recognize the tremendous benefits of and need to grow our energy transportation network and who support the union workforce that will build it.


    American Energy Industry Supporter

  • Tell the Whitmer Administration You Support Line 5

    Governor Gretchen Whitmer's administration has revoked the original easement for the Line 5 Pipeline that lets the pipeline operate for 4.5 miles across the Straits of Mackinac. This order jeopardizes critical tax revenue for the local and state economies, energy access for residents and thousands of jobs - many belonging to Local 798 members in Michigan. The battle over Line 5 heightened in 2020 when Gov. Whitmer announced she was seeking a state court injunction to force Enbridge to shut down Line 5 and “permanently decommission” the pipeline, even though the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the federal regulator that oversees the pipeline, had said that it is “aware of no unsafe or hazardous conditions that would warrant shutdown of Line 5.” 

    We submitted the below petition to Gov. Whitmer in March 2021 with 3,209 signatures and again in July with a total of 4,055 signatures. We will continue to collect signatures on this petition, as we anticipate other opportunities this year to send a louder message to the governor to stop playing politics with the energy needs and anxieties of U.S. consumers and businesses that depend on Line 5!

    Dear Governor Whitmer:

    I continue to stand with Pipeliners Local 798 in support of Enbridge’s Line 5 Straits Tunnel Project. Shutting down the replacement of Line 5, a $500 million private investment, puts Michigan’s energy and economic future at serious risk as a result of a major disruption of the state's energy supply. 

    The concerns raised by your administration regarding Line 5 focus on the threat of an oil spill in the Straits and how that would harm the economy, environment and enjoyment of the Great Lakes. However, Enbridge continues to demonstrate its commitment to maintaining a high level of safety, including the diligent 24/7 monitoring of the Straits crossing, regular inspections and operating the line at less than 25 percent of its maximum design capabilities to minimize stress on the pipeline steel and enhance safety. Also, Enbridge has a proactive inspection program to monitor the fitness of Line 5. This includes evaluating every inch of the pipeline interior every five years using in-line inspection tools that provide detail on par with MRIs in the medical industry. Preventing this project from moving forward in light of all these protections is harmful to Michigan's energy and economic future.

    In 2018 alone, Enbridge paid nearly $8 million in base salary to Michigan employees and approximately $60 million in property taxes in the state for its energy infrastructure projects, which was then invested in schools, roads and bridges and other important public services. Line 5 will create many good paying construction jobs, secure access to reliable energy for businesses and homes across the state, and generate significant economic activity in the project area.

    The company has previously entered into agreements with the state of Michigan, outlining actions Enbridge is taking to protect the state’s water bodies within the project footprint, including implementing additional safety measures to mitigate impacts and overall increased coordination with the state regarding operations and maintenance of Line 5. Enbridge also entered into a subsequent agreement with the state that puts in place enhanced inspection and operations protocols for the project.

    Enbridge continues to address concerns raised by environmentalists and government officials in regards to the safety of Line 5 and has demonstrated a clear plan to finish construction by 2021 in order to safely and efficiently deliver energy to homes and businesses across the state. This is why I am concerned your administration continues to play politics with the employment opportunities for union workers and the energy needs of U.S. consumers and businesses that depend on Line 5. 


    Line 5 Straits Tunnel Project Supporter

    **Local 798 may submit your name to other local and state decision makers in support of Line 5.**

  • signed Petition Line 3 Replacement 2020-11-05 16:04:32 -0600

    Sign the Line 3 Support Petition

    We have submitted the below petition to various decision makers during the permitting process for Enbridge's Line 3 Replacement Project. The most recent submission was in July 2021 to President Joe Biden with 6,261 signatures urging his administration to honor key permits for Line 3 amid pressure from opposition groups for revocation or suspension.

    Further delay on this critical project jeopardizes thousands of jobs, many belonging to Local 798 members. We will continue to collect signatures on this petition in anticipation of new advocacy opportunities. Add your name now!

    I proudly support the Line 3 Replacement Project. Once in operation, Line 3 will provide a much-needed update to Enbridge’s Mainline System, ensuring that it continues to safely transport energy required to meet growing demands from eastern Canada to the Gulf Coast.

    The project has already undergone unprecedented environmental review, culminating with the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which was based on the most extensive environmental study of a pipeline project in Minnesota state history. After careful review of the FEIS, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has approved the certificate of need, route permit and environmental review for the project, and I believe other permitting agencies should offer similar support for the following key reasons:

    • Enbridge has demonstrated plans to restore 99.98% of the potential wetland impacts during construction;
    • Replacing aging infrastructure is critical in order to safely meet the region’s growing demand for reliable energy;
    • Construction will support approximately 1,500 jobs in Minnesota alone;
    • Project activity will generate critical tax revenue in each county the project intersects while providing a multi-billion-dollar boost to the regional economy.

    The people of North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin deserve the tremendous economic and energy benefits associated with this critical infrastructure project. This is why I support the Line 3 Replacement Project and urge swift approval of necessary permits and certifications.


    Line 3 Replacement Project Supporter

    **Local 798 may submit your signature to state and federal regulatory bodies, elected officials and other decision makers in support of the Line 3 Replacement project.**