Roger Burrow

  • signed FERC Labor Policy Comment via 2023-11-27 17:36:28 -0600

    Sign Our Comment to FERC

    The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is seeking comments on its Proposed Policy Statement clarifying how the Commission will treat project-area wage standards in computing the labor cost component of jurisdictional cost-of-service rates. The draft policy statement is the results of more than 18 months of collaboration between FERC staff and LIUNA leadership and, if adopted, will create tremendous opportunities for pipeline contractors and unions to secure more and better jobs since they could receive full cost reimbursement for projects that are included in rates.

    Help us voice support for this proposal that would help create good jobs for union craftsmen, thousands of whom are Local 798 members. Add your name to our comment below that we will submit to FERC before the comment period ends on December 26.

    RE: Docket No. PL24-1-000; Project-Area Wage Standards in the Labor Cost Component of Cost-of-Service Rates

    Dear Mr. Commissioners:

    I am writing in response to the Commission's Notice of a Proposed Policy Statement clarifying how it will treat project-area wage standards in computing the labor cost component of jurisdictional cost-of-service rates. After review of the proposed sources of measurement, I believe the Commission should view collectively bargained rates as the only metric for project-area wages when an operator certifies the employment of union labor.

    I applaud the Commission’s initiative to update the sources it will consider in determining project-area wage standards. I also share LIUNA’s primary concerns with using a “blended wage rate”, which is not a metric used in any other Government body or anywhere else within the construction industry, to determine cost reimbursements to operators. Of the four sources the Commission has proposed to accept, wage and fringe benefit rates in applicable collective bargaining agreements or project labor agreements are the most reliable source to determine local labor standards because these rates represent the compensation and benefit levels for the personnel actually performing the work.

    Key reasons why I support collectively bargained rates as the only metric for project-area wages include:

    • Collectively bargained reflect the wages and benefits skilled tradespeople actually receive on pipeline projects. Local 798 members, specifically, hone our craft over several years, which enables us to provide the highest quality service to pipeline operators. If an operator decides to use union labor, such as from our Local, the Commission can easily validate the exact wages and benefits.
    • In the case of pipeline projects that span multiple states or years, collective bargaining agreements already have state-specific rates, and annual wage increases established, preventing the need for further clarification.
    • The United Association is one of four signatories to the National Pipeline Agreement, which covers construction, installation, double jointing, rebeveling, treating, insulation, reconditioning, testing, relaying or relocation of cross-country pipelines or any segments thereof.
    • Finally, it is important to remember that pipeline construction is highly specialized and involves much greater skill and training levels mandated by PHMSA. A “blended wage rate”, in particular, inherently ignores this fact and dis-incentivizes operators from using union contractors & the associated labor, denying our nation’s most dedicated and highly trained union craftsmen good jobs.

    Due to the reasons discussed above, I strongly believe that collectively bargained rates should be the only metric for project-area wages when an operator certifies the employment of union labor. Further, the Commission should also only consider Davis-Bacon and state prevailing wages if they have been recently updated, and reflect actual wages workers received, such as collectively bargained rates. Along those same lines, construction cost models or databases should only be relied upon if the labor cost inputs are based on actual area wages and benefits, not national averages or averages for the general construction industry.

    I appreciate the opportunity to make my voice heard on this issue, and I hope the Commission considers this comment as it discusses the sources of data it uses to determine project-area wage standards for the dedicated craftsmen that build and maintain our nation’s pipeline infrastructure.

    Signed,

    [Signers below]

  • signed simon icc iub via 2023-08-30 08:16:17 -0500

    Sign Our Comment

    Over the course of two weeks in September, we prepared submissions - with more than 2,300 comments - to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) and Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), as they accepted public comments on permits for the Mt. Simon Hub project, a pipeline proposed by Wolf Carbon Solutions and Archer Daniels Midland Company that will stretch from eastern Iowa into Illinois. Specifically, the project is seeking from the Illinois Commerce Commission a "Certificate of Authority to Construct and Operate a Carbon Dioxide Pipeline and when Necessary to take Interests in Property as Provided by the Law of Eminent Domain"; and from the Iowa Utilities Board a Hazardous Liquid Pipeline permit.

    Thank you to all who signed our comment for submission! If you signed after September 21, we may include your name in future submissions to state and federal regulators to support this project.

    Dear Secretary:

    On behalf of United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA) and our more than 300,000 members, I want to express our continued support for the Mt. Simon Hub and encourage a thorough review and timely approval of this important project. We believe that Wolf Carbon Solutions’ Mt. Simon Hub will be integral to job creation, environmental improvement and long-term economic growth of our region.

    As a proud UA member, I am excited at the prospect of playing a central role in making this project a reality. With the potential to create more than 2,700 construction jobs, generate over $478 million in wages and salaries and to contribute upwards of $75 million in state and local taxes for our state, the Mt. Simon Hub presents an extraordinary economic opportunity both for our union members and Illinois and Iowa overall.

    The hardworking men and women of the UA will bring their extensive construction experience to bear to ensure that the Mt. Simon Hub is built to rigorous specifications and in compliance with strict federal and state standards. At the UA, we adhere to our Standard of Excellence in every project we work on. This Standard is made up of three pillars: safety, quality and productivity, each of which are essential to making our laborers the best-trained and highly-skilled in the world.  Furthermore, we boast a five-year apprenticeship program that was the first nationally registered program recognized by the Department of Labor in the United States.

    With the possibility of major economic and environmental benefits, my fellow union members and I are excited by the opportunity that the Mt. Simon Hub presents, and we urge you to approve Wolf Carbon Solutions’ application. Thank you for your consideration.

    Signed,

    **By signing this petition, I agree to share my name on Pipeliners Local 798's submission to the Illinois Commerce Commission (RE: Docket No. 23-0475) and to the Iowa Utilities Board (Docket No. HLP-2022-0002)**

  • signed Line5 eis 2023 via 2023-08-08 13:37:37 -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.

    Dear Secretary:

    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.

    Signed,

    [Names Below]

    **Local 798 may submit this petition to state and federal regulators and other decision makers to support Line 5.**

  • signed ridgeline expansion petition via 2022-11-22 18:43:16 -0600

    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.

    Dear [Secretary]:

    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.

    Signed,

    [Names below]

  • signed Hydrogen Pipeline Petition via 2022-11-20 14:32:31 -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.

    Signed

    [Signers below]

     

  • 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.

    Signed,

    [Names below]

    **Local 798 will submit this petition to state and federal regulators and other decision makers to support the Delta Lateral Project.**

  • Sign Our Petition Supporting CCS Projects

    Despite the significant environmental and economic benefits that Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) infrastructure projects generate, activists aim to halt their development and kill the jobs they provide, many belonging to Local 798 members.

    Stand up for our livelihoods! Sign our petition below that we will submit to decision makers in support of CCS projects across the country.

    Dear [Official]:

    As an energy consumer concerned about our nation’s economic future and the state of our environment, I am proud to support the investment in and development of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) infrastructure projects.

    CCS projects receive bipartisan support precisely because they represent a common-sense solution to the challenge of “building back better” as we emerge from a pandemic-induced economic downturn, and as we continue to address the growing urgency to lower carbon emissions.

    Given the energy limitations and high cost of infrastructure associated with “clean energy” alternatives, such as solar and wind power, it is difficult to imagine how federal climate objectives (including reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050) are met without widespread carbon capture and sequestration.

    These projects also generate substantial economic activity, as many require installation of new infrastructure specifically to capture the CO2 emissions before they are emitted into the atmosphere. Summit Carbon Solutions’ Midwest Carbon Express Project, for example, is anticipated to support up to 17,000 jobs during construction alone and will install new infrastructure in 31 ethanol plants across five states, indirectly supporting jobs for workers in other industries across dozens of communities.

    I support Carbon Capture and Storage pipeline projects for the following reasons:

    • We must substantially increase carbon capture and storage capacity to help reach emission reduction goals; a July report from the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality found that a CCS industry large enough to meet the “net zero” emissions goal by 2050 would require 68,000 miles of new CO2 pipelines. This simply cannot happen unless we invest in meaningful change in our nation’s energy infrastructure now;
    • CCS infrastructure is already making a significant difference in emissions reductions. One facility in Wyoming, for example, captures enough carbon dioxide each day to equate to removing 1.5 million cars from the roadways;
    • CCS projects generate critical economic activity and support good-paying jobs for our nation's industry craftsmen, many of whom are Local 798 members;
    • Carbon capture technology carries a remarkably safe track record. It has successfully been in use since the 1990s, and there are roughly 5,000 miles of CO2 pipeline and 40 ethanol plants using this technology in the U.S.

    For these reasons, I urge decision makers to join me in support of Carbon Capture and Storage infrastructure projects – for our nation’s immediate and long-term future.

    Signed

    [Names below]

  • signed Willow Project Petition via 2022-11-05 20:05:51 -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.

    Signed,

    [Names below]

Roger Burrow

Roger Burrow 1800sc