Union Support For Keystone XL Pipeline Project
General President William P. Hite and the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada lauded the U.S. Department of State decision to move forward with a next step for the Keystone XL pipeline permit.
The State Department expects to request public comment on a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed pipeline. A 45-day public comment period would begin with a Federal Register notice expected to be issued in mid-April.
“The Keystone XL Pipeline will play a vital role in putting deserving people to work in this difficult economy. It will also help promote U.S. energy independence,” General President Hite said. “We are sincerely grateful for the State Department’s prudent decision to move this forward.
Hite was one of four union presidents, representing 2.6 million workers, who sent a letter in October to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urging approval for the project. The Keystone XL is a $7 billion privately funded project that is expected to stimulate $20 billion in new spending for the U.S. economy, spur the creation of 118,000 jobs and generate more than $585 million in state and local taxes for the states along the pipeline route.
The unions have executed a project labor agreement to provide the Keystone XL project with a well-trained workforce in the U.S. The planned 1,959-mile, 36-inch crude oil pipeline will stretch from Hardisty, Alberta to a delivery point in Nederland, TX to serve the Port Arthur, TX marketplace.
The State Department has held more than 20 public comment meetings along the pipeline route as well as in Washington, D.C. Following the public comment period and issuance of a Final EIS, the State Department will solicit additional public comment and host a public meeting in Washington, D.C., before it makes a determination on whether to issue the permit.
A final decision is expected by the end of 2011, officials said.
The United Association represents more than 340,000 plumbers, pipe fitters, sprinkler fitters and service technicians. For more information, visit www.ua.org.