At a time when the economy is struggling, leaders from Local Union 798 are traveling across the country urging President Obama to approve an environmentally safe project that will produce more than 342,000 U.S. jobs over the next four years.
"Union leaders will be testifying at a U.S. State Department hearing this Friday in Washington in support of the 1700-mile, 36-inch crude oil pipeline that would transport bitumen processed from oil in Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast," said Danny Hendrix, business manager for Local 798.
"It is vital that union members make themselves heard on this issue," said Hendrix. "At a time when our nation is struggling with high unemployment and is concerned about having a dependable energy supply, the president should be working overtime to approve this $7 billion project, which is funded entirely by private industry.
"Our union has a state-of-the-art training facility, and we are committed to providing only the finest pipeline workers to help with this project," said Hendrix. "TransCanada is equally committed to making sure only the most highly-trained workers are used.
"The impact on Americans looking for work, as well as on the tax base of local communities, can be measured in the billions of dollars," said Hendrix. "Keystone will yield $6.5 billion in personal income for U.S. workers and produce $600 million in state and local taxes along the pipeline route."
The final environmental impact statement issued by the U.S. Department of State found that the project would have "no significant impact on the environment."
"There are skilled American workers who are ready to put their training and experience to work to ensure proper protection to the environment, rivers, and aquifers," said Hendrix. "This is the perfect project to help get our economy moving forward and to secure a source of energy from a dependable neighbor who is not subject to the turmoil that threatens our energy supplies from other parts of the world.
"In today's difficult economic times, coupled with the present uncertainty in the Middle East, this project should be at the forefront of any plan for putting Americans back to work," said Hendrix.