Martin Hand signed Line5 eis 2023 via Danny Hendrix Business Manager Pipeliners 798 2023-04-26 11:51:10 -0500
Sign Our Petition to the Army Corps
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced in March 2023 that it extended its environmental review of Enbridge Energy's Line 5 Straits Tunnel Project. The project's Environmental Impact Statement was previously set to be finished by late this year but now will be issued no earlier than Spring 2025.
While Local 798 members are supportive of a comprehensive permitting process that ensures opportunity for review and comment, we are disappointed with the extended timeline on this project's already thorough environmental impact analysis. Join us in sending a message to the Army Corps in support of a swift review so construction can finally move forward.
I stand with Pipeliners Local 798 in expressing disappointment in the U.S. Army Corps's decision to extend its environmental review of Enbridge Energy's Line 5 Straits Tunnel Project. The permitting process for Line 5 already ensured extensive opportunity for review and comment, through which Enbridge repeatedly demonstrated a commitment to maintaining the highest level of safety and environmental responsibility.
Enbridge's proactive dedication to safety includes 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. In November 2017, the company formally entered into an agreement with the state of Michigan outlining seven actions Enbridge was taking to protect the state’s water bodies within the project footprint. The following year, Enbridge announced another agreement with the state of Michigan that put in place enhanced inspection and operations protocols for the project. In the years that followed, Enbridge has continued to work closely with landowners, tribal leaders and safety experts to ensure the safest and most efficient pipeline operation.
There are several reasons why I believe the Line 5 Straits Tunnel Project deserves swift approval from the Army Corps and other decision makers, including:
- Enbridge has a proactive inspection program to monitor the fitness of Line 5, including evaluating the pipe’s interior inch by inch every five years using in-line inspection tools that provide detail on par with MRIs in the medical industry;
- All products that enter the pipeline are inspected and treated to prevent corrosion, and the system is operated at a low pressure to minimize stress on the pipe – all in an effort to protect the pipeline and the Straits;
- Over the past several years, Enbridge has paid tens of millions of dollars in property taxes in the state for its energy infrastructure projects, which has been invested in schools, roads and bridges and other important public services;
- The Line 5 Straits Tunnel Project will create good jobs for the local workforce, many of whom include Local 798 members.
The permitting process for Line 5 already ensured more than adequate opportunity for review and comment, through which Enbridge has demonstrated a clear plan with the project to help ensure an uninterrupted supply of reliable, affordable energy to Michigan and the region. This is why I ask the Army Corps to efficiently complete this review and approve necessary permits without any further delay.
Martin Hand signed BUILDER Act 2023 via Robert Spencer 2023-03-13 20:28:47 -0500
We Submit June 1: Sign Our Petition
The House Energy and Commerce Committee advanced several bills this spring that includes language to streamline natural gas permitting. One such bill would specifically streamline and speed up the environmental review process. The proposed BUILDER Act is designed to narrow the scope of NEPA review, reduce the time and resources involved in completing NEPA documents and streamline the approval process for critical pipeline projects.
These changes could help grow tremendous opportunities for industry craftsmen across the country. Sign our petition that we will submit to the appropriate decision makers as they consider these changes to NEPA that streamline and speed up the permitting process for pipeline projects!
RE: The BUILDER Act and Update to Regulations Implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
I stand with Pipeliners Local 798, a trades union representing the nation’s most skilled and dedicated industry craftsmen, in supporting legislation, such as the proposed BUILDER Act, that modernizes the outdated National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to make infrastructure project reviews more efficient, reduce project costs, spur economic recovery and rebuild America.
The proposed changes will modernize and streamline the permitting process for critical energy infrastructure projects, while respecting the integrity of the regulations already in place.
Under the current NEPA process, the average environmental impact statement takes about four and a half years to complete, and 25% of completed impact statements have taken more than six years. This is critical time wasted while craftsmen wait for job opportunities and communities are denied associated economic activity. In addition, studies have shown that $157 billion in energy investment is simply holding in NEPA pipeline review, and a two-year NEPA review time limit could spur $67 billion in energy investment.
I support the common-sense provisions outlined in the BUILDER Act, specifically its impact on NEPA, for the following reasons:
- Implementing time limits for completing EAs and EISs, and shortening the page limits for those submissions, will help stakeholders complete reviews more efficiently, ultimately avoiding long delays on critical project approvals;
- Emphasizing early coordination with stakeholders and federal agencies allows for increased collaboration between project leadership teams, environmental experts and community members;
- The bill requires those who have abused or weaponized NEPA in the past to have participated meaningfully in the NEPA process before filing suit and provides a reasonable timeline to file those lawsuits, eliminating some litigation during the permitting process for important projects;
- Establishing and clarifying the threshold determinations for preparing environmental documents will help avoid costly delays and litigation under NEPA.
Hard-working members of Local 798, along with all industry craftsmen who have struggled to make a living while waiting for construction approvals for infrastructure projects, support the BUILDER Act and other similar legislation aimed at streamlining the pipeline review process. This is why I urge you and your colleagues to help push such legislation forward.
Martin Hand signed Letter to McCarthy via David Butterworth 2023-02-07 10:55:02 -0600
Sign Our Letter to Speaker McCarthy
"We pledge to cut the regulatory burden, lower energy costs for families, and create good-paying jobs for workers by unleashing reliable, abundant American-made energy."
In January 2023, Speaker of the House-elect Kevin McCarthy used part of his acceptance speech to voice his commitment to reducing regulatory burdens on domestic energy development that represents significant economic investment, access to reliable energy and good jobs for skilled craftsmen, including Local 798 members.
Thank you for signing our below letter to Speaker Kevin McCarthy in the American Pipeline Action Network expressing support of a reform agenda that prioritizes American energy. Thanks to your efforts, we submitted our letter to Speaker McCarthy on February 14 with 2,048 signatures. We will continue to collect signatures on this letter in anticipation of a follow up submission this year.
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
2468 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC, 20515
I stand with Pipeliners Local 798 in congratulating you on your election to the position of Speaker of the U. S. House of Representatives and in encouraging your leadership on the pro-American energy policy agenda outlined in your acceptance remarks on January 7.
Regulatory burdens placed on the energy industry - and pushed forward by several of your colleagues - in recent years have proven to be principal barriers to the approval of critical infrastructure projects that represent significant economic investment, access to reliable energy and good jobs for skilled craftsmen. Many of these jobs would belong to members of Pipeliners Local 798, a trades union based in Oklahoma that represents thousands of America's most skilled and seasoned workers who live and work across the country.
We agree with your view that our nation's leaders can help turn this tide in the right direction by working swiftly and collaboratively to support policies that leverage our nation's abundant energy supply and American ingenuity to advance our energy independence, lower our energy costs and create good-paying jobs for our workers.
Overall, I am proud to support policy that prioritizes a strong domestic energy industry due to the following key benefits:
- Generates significant economic activity, supporting a robust and growing economy;
- Encourages investment in and utilization of advanced technology to improve safety and efficiency of infrastructure networks;
- Improves grid reliability and makes energy more affordable for everyday Americans;
- Grows opportunities for skilled craftsmen who depend on jobs on infrastructure projects to provide for their families, many of these workers belonging to Pipeliners Local 798;
- Coupling Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects, in particular, with natural gas systems will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions while maintaining the strength and affordability of the existing grid. The development of a major new nationwide network of CO2 pipelines and CO2 sequestration wells is necessary to help meet growing demand for cleaner energy.
Investing in energy infrastructure projects, from natural gas to CCS system, will add countless well-paying American jobs in construction, manufacturing and other services, helping to secure and grow the prosperity of families and communities across the nation.
It is also important to point out that ambiguous and excessive regulatory provisions and endless litigation that continue to rattle our industry give opponents the tools to slow or stop projects during the permitting process, and sometimes stop development projects already under construction. It is therefore essential that you and your colleagues in Washington go above partisan politics to focus on strengthening the American energy industry.
Martin Hand signed ridgeline expansion petition 2022-10-28 06:19:04 -0500
Sign Our Petition Supporting Ridgeline
Enbridge is working with the Tennessee Valley Authority to design, construct and operate the Ridgeline Expansion Project, an expansion of Enbridge’s existing East Tennessee Natural Gas (ETNG) system. Ultimately, this would provide affordable and domestically sourced natural gas for the utility’s customers as the system continues to transition to cleaner energy.
Pending the receipt of all necessary permits, construction would begin in 2025 with a target in-service date of fall 2026. Sign our below petition that we will submit to respective decision makers as this project moves through the permitting process.
I am proud to support Enbridge and the Tennessee Valley Authority as they develop the Ridgeline Expansion Project, a critical investment into the energy and economic future of Tennessee and the surrounding region.
Project construction will support good jobs for local craftsmen, many going to Pipeliners Local 798 members. Once complete, this expansion will provide Tennesseans with a lower-carbon, cleaner-burning energy source.
I support the Ridgeline Expansion Project for the following key reasons:
- The project is designed to meet the rising demand for natural gas, providing affordable and cleaner energy for the utility’s customers;
- The majority of the proposed route would be located within the existing system's right-of-way, which minimizes impacts to landowners and the environment;
- I understand the quality of work that Pipeliners Local 798 members and other regional craftsmen will put into this project to ensure its efficiency, safety and reliability. Local 798 workers have delivered on energy infrastructure projects like this for decades.
Simply put, projects like the Ridgeline Expansion Project are necessary to meet the rising demand for natural gas. This clean-burning energy currently fuels one-third of electric power generation and heats approximately half of all U.S. homes. This project will help more families and businesses in Tennessee realize the full advantages of this abundantly available resource.
I encourage FERC to issue necessary permits without delay, allowing the Ridgeline Expansion Project to meet its proposed in-service date in 2026.
Martin Hand signed GTN XPress Project Petition 2022-04-06 17:22:34 -0500
Sign Our Petition to FERC
The GTN XPress Project is a critical investment in the Gas Transmission Northwest pipeline infrastructure network in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The project, which specifically includes modifications and upgrades to compressor stations along the pipeline, will help meet growing regional needs for natural gas while supporting good jobs for local craftsmen.
We submitted the below petition to our federal regulator on August 22, 2022 before its comment period ended for the project's Draft Environmental Impact Statement. We will continue to collect signatures in anticipation of additional comment periods in the coming months. Add your name now!
I stand with Pipeliners Local 798 in support of TC Energy’s Gas Transmission Northwest Pipeline (GTN) XPress Project. This is a $335 million investment in the natural gas infrastructure and delivery network in Oregon, Washington and Idaho that will help meet increased market demand across the region.
As the company’s largest pipeline investment, GTN currently provides a critical service delivering reliable, cost-effective natural gas from Western Canada and the Rocky Mountains to local utilities and facilities across the Pacific Northwest and California. The GTN XPress Project will ensure this system continues to safely deliver this energy source to families and businesses across the region.
I support the GTN XPress Project for the following key reasons:
- Projects like this are necessary to meet the region’s growing demand for clean-burning natural gas, which has made up a larger portion of the electricity mix in Oregon, in particular, in recent years as the state phases out coal;
- Investment in the GTN pipeline system will ensure reliable energy delivery for nearly half a million average American homes and businesses;
- A $335 million investment, GTN is TC Energy’s largest-ever organic growth opportunity, supporting good jobs for local craftsmen and generating substantial economic activity.
Residents, business owners and community members across the Pacific Northwest are counting on investments like the GTN XPress Project to help the natural gas delivery network continue to meet their daily energy needs. This is why I urge the swift approval of necessary permits for this project.
Martin Hand signed Delta Lateral Project FERC Comment 2022-01-14 09:46:06 -0600
Sign Our Comment to FERC
The Delta Lateral Project will expand natural gas capacity of Kern River Gas Transmission's existing transmission system in Utah while supporting good jobs for local craftsmen.
In December 2021, Local 798 submitted the below petition with 2,080 signatures to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding the project’s draft Environmental Impact Statement. In February 2022, FERC released the final DEIS. In anticipation of more public comment periods ahead, please sign this petition that we will submit to other regulators and decision makers in support of Delta Lateral.
Dear Secretary Bose:
I stand with Pipeliners Local 798 in support of Kern River Gas Transmission Company's Delta Lateral Project. This important project will enable Kern River to meet rising natural gas demands in the area and will support good jobs for local craftsmen, including Local 798 members.
In its draft EIS, FERC found the project’s environmental impacts would be reduced to “less-than-significant levels”due to the minimization and mitigation measures proposed by Kern River and recommended by the Commission. Project leaders remain committed to these mitigation efforts and continue to collaborate with stakeholders and environmental experts to develop the most responsible and efficient development plan. I see no reason to alter this review in the final EIS.
Overall, I support the Delta Lateral Project for the following reasons:
- Project leaders have consistently collaborated with stakeholders and environmental experts to ensure it meets or exceeds federal safety standards while developing the most efficient and responsible pipeline route;
- Delta Lateral is a critical part of the region’s energy infrastructure network and its carbon reduction strategy, as it is designed to provide firm transportation service for the Intermountain Power Project (IPP) in Utah, which is working towards installing gas-fired generating units capable of using hydrogen, and developing hydrogen production and long-term storage capabilities;
- Local 798 recognizes Kern River’s history of designing, constructing and operating safe and reliable pipeline systems. The company has demonstrated this same commitment with Delta Lateral.
Due to the reasons discussed above, I support the Delta Lateral Project and urge the swift approval of necessary permits.
**Local 798 will submit this petition to state and federal regulators and other decision makers to support the Delta Lateral Project.**
Martin Hand signed Hydrogen Pipeline Petition via Pipeliners Local 798 2021-12-11 09:06:43 -0600
Sign Our Petition Supporting Hydrogen Pipelines
Upgrading and modifying existing gas pipelines and midstream infrastructure to carry biofuels and low-carbon hydrogen would generate good jobs for our nation’s construction workforce and boost economic activity while supporting low-carbon goals.
Sign our petition below supporting hydrogen pipeline infrastructure and the jobs that these projects will provide to craftsmen across the country, including many Local 798 members.
As a forward-thinking supporter of a strong energy industry, I join Pipeliners Local 798 in support of utilizing existing infrastructure and developing new pipelines for the purpose of transporting renewable hydrogen.
By making lines hydrogen-capable, we can best prepare for a responsible energy future while helping to grow opportunities for industry craftsmen across the nation, many of whom are members of Pipeliners Local 798, a trades union representing the most highly trained, skilled and dedicated men and women in the energy industry.
The U.S. has a robust natural gas transportation and storage network – approximately three million miles of natural gas pipelines run throughout the nation – yet, these critical pipelines could become stranded assets within decades, as government leaders push towards aggressive carbon emission goals. This presents both a tremendous challenge and opportunity to utilize the existing pipeline network to also transport other clean-burning energy sources like renewable hydrogen.
While I believe that natural gas should play a vital role in our energy system for years to come, I recognize the growing urgency to invest in renewable energy sources. Modifying gas pipelines and midstream infrastructure to carry biofuels and low-carbon hydrogen is smart strategy, as these projects generate critical economic activity, support good jobs and ensure the delivery of reliable, clean energy to American homes and businesses.
I support investment in renewable hydrogen pipeline infrastructure for the following key reasons:
- Utilizing existing infrastructure for renewable hydrogen distribution supports good job opportunities for industry craftsmen and generates critical local and state economic activity;
- While renewables like solar and wind are limited by electrical grids, hydrogen can be efficiently transported by pipelines, which are built and maintained by a skilled workforce of pipefitters, welders and other craftsmen who depend on infrastructure projects to provide for their families;
- Hydrogen in distribution pipelines would help decarbonize industrial processes, supporting environmental goals.
Upgrading and modifying existing gas pipelines and midstream infrastructure to carry hydrogen would generate good jobs for our nation’s construction workforce and boost economic activity while supporting low-carbon goals. This is why I urge decision makers to join me in supporting these critical infrastructure projects.
Martin Hand signed Willow Project Petition via Preston Richard 2021-07-08 19:56:10 -0500
Sign Our Willow Project Support Petition
The Willow Master Development Plan Project (Willow Project) is 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.
In March 2023, the Biden Administration approved the project, making it possible to begin construction this winter. The project likely faces legal challenges, however, that would stall construction. Sign our petition below supporting this important project as it faces more milestones 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.
Martin Hand signed Dakota Access Pipeline Petition via Preston Richard 2021-06-22 21:24:27 -0500
Support Dakota Access Pipeline During Critical Review
In February 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would not hear an appeal to overturn a court-ordered environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline. While this is a legal blow to the project, the pipeline will continue to operate while the review is conducted. This followed a ruling on May 21, 2021 by Federal Judge James Boasberg that DAPL could continue operating while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers conducts review for its Environmental Impact Statement.
The pipeline still needs to undergo the latest of a rigorous series of environmental reviews. Sign our petition below urging the swift approval of remaining permits for DAPL!
RE: Dakota Access Pipeline Project; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Impact Statement
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.
Dakota Access Pipeline Project Supporter
Martin Hand signed Be an Energy Voter Petition via Danny Hendrix Business Manager Pipeliners 798 2021-02-04 15:25:46 -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