Preston Ri'chard

  • signed FERC Petition Close Permits Petition 2021-10-08 21:15:01 -0500

    Sign Our Petition to FERC

    Despite bipartisan pressure from senators earlier this year, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) continues to delay review on important energy projects, creating significant obstacles in meeting energy demand across the country. Further inaction jeopardizes good jobs for industry craftsmen and threatens the nation’s economic and energy future.

    Sign our petition below imploring FERC to commit to closing review for these critical permits NOW!

    Dear Secretary Reese:

    Knowing of the growing need for reliable and affordable energy, I urge FERC to resume permitting review of natural gas infrastructure projects.

    The projects pending before the Commission, some for more than a year now, are critical to addressing energy supply challenges, and they would provide good jobs for the U.S. workers, many being members of Pipeliners Local 798, a proud trades union that represents more than 7,000 of the nation’s most skilled and dedicated craftsmen.

    This issue is not partisan: In April 2021, a group of 25 bipartisan senators signed a letter imploring FERC to resolve its permitting review, primarily citing the necessity to promptly advance projects along the permitting process “that create jobs and bring other economic and environmental benefits to communities.” 

    A strong natural gas infrastructure network provides critical benefits through lower energy costs, reduced carbon emissions, manufacturing resurgences and movement towards energy independence. Ongoing permitting delays for pipeline projects deprive Americans of these benefits and contribute to anxiety over an uncertain energy and economic future.

    I implore FERC to resolve its permitting review of natural gas projects for the following key reasons:

    • Many of the projects currently pending before the Commission, some pending for more than a year now, directly address pipeline capacity constraints that deprive consumers the benefits associated with affordable, reliable and clean-burning natural gas;
    • Modernizing our nation’s pipeline infrastructure ensures the efficient and safe delivery of natural gas resources and generates economic growth across communities within these projects’ footprint;
    • The pending infrastructure projects collectively represent substantial private sector investment and thus deserve the Commission’s fair and timely consideration;
    • Review and permitting delays continue to hold hostage critical jobs across the country, many belonging to Local 798 members;
    • Further inaction from the Commission threatens our economic and energy future, particularly in “energy states” such as Pennsylvania.

    Due to the reasons discussed above, I stand with Pipeliners Local 798, other industry craftsmen and concerned energy consumers in urging FERC to promptly take action, consistent with its current Policy Statement, on natural gas infrastructure projects that are pending before the Commission.

    Signed

    [Names below]

  • signed Willow Project Petition 2021-07-08 18:13:44 -0500

    Sign Our Willow Project Support Petition

    The Biden Administration has indicated support for the Willow Master Development Plan Project (Willow Project), a critical energy project in the North Slope of Alaska from ConocoPhillips that is expected to generate billions of dollars in local, state and federal revenue and support 2,000 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs – many going to Local 798 members.

    The U.S. Justice Department argued in a May 2021 court brief that the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service properly followed environmental laws during its multi-year review of the Willow Project before the Trump Administration approved the project in October 2020.

    Sign our petition below supporting this important project as it undergoes a rigorous permitting process and legal battles ahead!

    I commend the Biden Administration for showing its support for the Willow Master Development Plan Project (Willow Project), and I urge state and federal decision makers to follow suit to ensure swift approval of this critical project that will generate much-needed economic activity in Alaska, supply affordable, domestic energy and create good-paying jobs for the area workforce.

    The project’s approval comes after years of analysis, significant public input, completion of the environmental impact statement (EIS) and biological opinion (BiOp) and consultation with cooperating agencies such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

    Throughout every stage, the Willow Project has demonstrated its commitment to transparency, public involvement and environmental safety. The comment period for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and Supplement Draft EIS, for example, generated more than 31,000 submissions during comment periods and influenced ConocoPhillips to amend its application to modify its project design, including a change to incorporate a new module delivery option. In the end, the project’s final EIS, which consists of seven volumes and over 3,6000 pages, took more than two years and some six million dollars to draft, evaluate and finalize.

    Project development would generate thousands of jobs for area craftsmen and produce substantial revenue for the federal government, State of Alaska, North Slope Borough and communities in the NPR-A.

    I support the Willow Project due to the following key benefits:

    • The infrastructure will generate a potential $10 billion dollars in federal, state and local economic activity over its lifetime;
    • Project construction is expected to support 2,000 jobs, and operation will require approximately 300 permanent jobs, many of which will go to Local 798 members;
    • The project is designed to produce approximately 586 million barrels of oil over its lifetime, including up to 160,000 barrels a day, helping to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil;
    • The project has undergone rigorous review of potential environmental and ecological impacts. The Army Corps, in particular, found the Willow Project would “not cause significant” negative impacts.

    The Biden Administration took the right step with its court filing in support of the Willow Project, and I urge other decision makers to issue necessary permits in a timely manner.

    Sincerely,

    Willow Project Supporter

  • signed Dakota Access Pipeline Petition 2021-06-22 14:04:27 -0500

    Support Dakota Access Pipeline During Critical Review

    On May 21, 2021, Federal Judge James Boasberg ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) could continue operating while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts review for its Environmental Impact Statement, which is expected to be complete in the spring of 2022.

    This was a critical victory for the workforce and communities who rely on the reliable supply of crude oil that DAPL currently transports, but the pipeline still needs to undergo the latest of a rigorous series of environmental reviews. Sign our petition below commending the judge’s decision and urging the swift approval of remaining permits for DAPL!

    RE: Dakota Access Pipeline Project; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Impact Statement

    Dear Secretary:

    I commend Judge Boesberg’s decision to keep the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) operating while the U.S. Army Corps conducts further environmental review, and I urge the swift approval of any additional permits for this critical project.

    DAPL is one of the most technologically advanced and safest pipelines ever constructed, surpassing all federal safety requirements. Throughout planning and development, the project adhered to all federal, state and local laws and regulations and was approved by regulatory agencies in all four states where the pipeline operates, in addition to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who completed more than a year of additional study in August of 2018. It's important to note after that thorough review, the Army Corps found the work substantiated its earlier determination that the pipeline poses “no significant environmental threats.” In total, agencies approved more than 1,000 certificates, permits and approvals for the project. 

    The fact that Judge Boesberg and the Army Corps ruled this year against shutting down the pipeline reiterates the trust the project has earned with its commitment to safety, which is also highlighted by the nearly four years of operation without one major incident.

    I support the Dakota Access Pipeline for the following key reasons:

    • The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation, known as the Three Affiliated Tribes, use DAPL to transport more than 60% of the oil they produce. A pipeline shutdown / Bakken production failure would cause significant loss among tribal members;
    • The project has adhered to all federal, state and local laws and regulations, earning more than 1,000 certificates, permits and approvals – approximately one permit or approval for every mile of pipeline – from agencies in all states where it operates;
    • DAPL currently moves over a million barrels of crude oil per day. These shipments would need to be transported by rail or truck – both of which are more costly and environmentally damaging;
    • A DAPL shut down would cost producers up to $5.4 billion the first year of the shutdown, result in up to $1.4 billion in lost tax revenue for local and state governments and eliminate a potential 24,000 jobs, many belonging to Local 798 members.

    Project leaders have demonstrated a commitment to transparency in an effort to develop the most responsible pipeline, conducting more than 550 meetings with community leaders, tribes, businesses, agricultural and civic organizations and local elected officials. In North Dakota alone, project leaders made 140 route adjustments during the planning process, including seventeen adjustments that specifically addressed concerns from involved parties.

    The Dakota Access Pipeline has undergone a thorough and rigorous regulatory process while maintaining transparency with the public and adhering to all environmental and safety protocols. This is why we commend Judge Boesbberg for standing by the Army Corps’ decision to keep the pipeline operating while they conduct further review and why we support the approval of any additional permits.

    Signed,

    Dakota Access Pipeline Project Supporter

  • signed Be an Energy Voter Petition via 2021-02-04 15:42:40 -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.

    Sincerely,

    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. 

    Signed,

    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 2021-07-08 18:09:44 -0500

    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.

    Signed, 

    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.**