Preston Ri'chard

  • signed Keystone XL Op Ed Support Letter 2021-05-06 19:33:47 -0500

    Stand with 798 Member in Support of Keystone XL

    Local 798 member and third-generation pipeliner Jason Jernigan recently wrote an editorial urging President Biden to reconsider his revocation of the 2019 Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.

    Stand with Jason, and add your name to the below letter that we will submit to the president and other decision makers who need to hear why this project is so important, particularly to the craftsmen who depend on energy infrastructure projects like KXL for their livelihood.

    Dear President Biden:

    I am a pipeline worker. My father was a pipeline worker. My grandfather was a pipeline worker. My family has been on the frontlines of the energy industry for a combined 91 years. It’s in our blood.

    I have worked on hundreds of pipeline projects across the country including the Dakota Access Pipeline, Millennial Pipeline, Mountain Valley Pipeline and the Atlantic Sunrise Pipeline. Like my father was before me, I have been part of the Pipeliners Union 798 since 1999 and have been hard at work since 18 years old.

    I’ve spent my entire adult life learning this industry. I have developed my skill set to keep my good-paying job in order to pay bills and put food on the table for my family.

    After President Biden signed the Executive Order to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline on January 20, 2021, he essentially signed my pink slip. I was planning to begin work in March, laying pipes across an 80-mile spread in Montana. Now at age 45, I have to start all over.

    As John Kerry stood up in the briefing room, he promised we would all be placed in new jobs as solar or wind technicians. I figured it was just a pipe dream. And, so far, I have been proven right. No one from the Biden administration has reached out to me, or anyone in Pipeliners Union 798 to offer us a new job, or give guidance on how we can train for one.

    I was earning $53 an hour, a wage I’ve worked my entire life to reach. After researching solar power jobs, I found on average they are paid $17 an hour. That’s a $35 an hour pay cut. They are not good paying, as Kerry promised, but sadly many of us do not have a choice.

    Biden campaigned on creating jobs, yet he killed mine — along with 11,000 other pipeline workers on Day One of his administration. He pledged to work across the aisle and keep an open mind, but didn’t take time to learn the real environmental impact — or even hear from people in his own party who support the Keystone XL pipeline.

    The irony in all of President Biden’s decisions here is the reason for canceling the Keystone XL pipeline will somehow help in addressing the risks of climate change and protecting the environment. In reality, transporting energy products by pipeline is much safer than by rail or truck where there is a much greater likelihood of oil spills or other accidents. President Biden runs the risk of contributing to potential environmental damages if pipeline transport from Keystone or other pipelines are halted. The blocking of the pipeline will also not magically reduce demand for America’s energy supply and the consequence will be further dependence on the Middle East and Russia to fuel our energy needs.

    Mr. President, I am asking you to reconsider your decision. I speak for several of my fellow union workers at Pipeliners Union 798, some I have worked alongside for the past twenty years. We are real, hardworking Americans who care deeply about our families and communities. Please don’t take our jobs away.

    Signed,

    Jason Jernigan & the Following American Energy Industry Supporters

    **This letter was published as in opinion editorial in the Billings Gazette on March 17, 2021.**

     

  • signed SCALE Act Petition via 2021-04-07 19:18:55 -0500

    Tell Congress: Support the SCALE Act

    The Storing CO2 and Lowering Emissions (SCALE) Act is a landmark bill that would invest billions of dollars in CO2 transport and storage infrastructure. The SCALE Act authorizes $4.9 billion in spending over five years for the development of CO2 transport and storage infrastructure to boost investment in carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS) projects.

    Sign our below petition calling on Congress to support the bi-partisan SCALE Act to promote Carbon Capture and the associated infrastructure essential for the United States to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century.

    I fully support the Storing CO2 and Lowering Emissions (SCALE) Act because it authorizes $4.9 billion in spending over five years for the development of CO2 transport and storage infrastructure to boost investment in carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS) projects.

    The SCALE Act would enable CO2 transport and storage infrastructure required to scale up carbon capture, removal, use and storage across domestic industries, including those that are difficult to decarbonize. Carbon capture is a key technology for maintaining good manufacturing jobs as the global economy decarbonizes to move towards the industry of the future. The SCALE Act enables the buildout of CO2 transport and storage infrastructure, with Buy America requirements, that is necessary for large-scale deployment of carbon capture at industrial facilities across our vast country.

    The SCALE Act would give the federal government tools to enable US leadership on critical technology innovation and deployment in industries across the economy. The bill focuses on these key areas:

    1. The establishment of the CO2 Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (CIFIA) program to finance shared CO2 transport infrastructure. The CIFIA program is modeled after existing programs for highway and waterway infrastructure development. It offers low-interest loans for CO2 transport infrastructure and grants to develop CO2 pipeline capacity.
    2. Authorizes the Department of Energy (DOE) to provide grants to states and municipalities for procurement of carbon utilization products for infrastructure projects.
    3. Authorizes funding for a cost-sharing program through the DOE for the development of commercial geologic storage sites.
    4. Authorizes increased funding for the EPA for permitting Class VI CO2 storage wells and provides grants for states to establish their own Class VI permitting programs to streamline the CO2 storage process.

    The climate crisis provides us with an opportunity to utilize the wealth of resources rural America has to offer and create good-paying jobs to grow the economy. Through the SCALE Act, we can advance carbon capture technology and develop infrastructure to create a cleaner environment and create jobs. Please support the SCALE act, and help invest in lowering carbon emissions.

  • 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