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A Message From Dennis Martire

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Are We Willing to Fight for Our Work and Our Way of Life?

In the past few years there has been more than $17 billion in energy infrastructure work throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region. For hard-working LIUNA members this means one thing: a piece of the pie that translates into millions of work hours and good paychecks to support our families. The projects and dollars are worth celebrating from Pennsylvania, with 83 pipeline projects topping $6 billion, to West Virginia and its 82 projects exceeding $5 billion, to the remaining states in our region, with 43 projects worth nearly $6 billion.

In all, we have worked more than 30 million work-hours on energy projects in our region in recent years. Without energy work – building pipelines, power plants and fuel processing facilities – thousands of members in our Region would be struggling to find work. For many of us these pipelines have literally been lifelines to good jobs, stable homes and more opportunities for our children. And while this work is projected to continue for several years, it is not guaranteed. In fact, it is under attack.

From the biggest projects, such as Atlantic Coast Pipeline spanning multiple states, to smaller projects expanding existing lines, there are anti-energy extremists pressuring elected officials, regulatory agencies and the courts to block or halt work. Though their claims are distorted, exaggerated or outright false, that doesn’t mean many won’t believe them or that elected officials won’t simply put their fingers in the air to see which way the wind is blowing in deciding whether to support or fight a pipeline.

The question for each of us is simple: Are we willing to fight for our work and our way of life?

Our union is only as powerful as our members. While dedicated and skilled leadership in our district councils and locals work hard each day to persuade officials to support energy work, at the end of the day it is the power of you – the members – that will make a difference. If we are to keep the work coming, we must all join the fight against extremists who will attempt to kill energy jobs.

I ask each of you to:

• Inform yourself and share information with your co-workers, family, friends and neighbors. The fact is our nation has no energy future without the benefit of pipelines and natural gas – and we will have drastically reduced work opportunities building that future if opponents succeed. Learn the facts.

• Sign up for the LIUNA Action Network, and as a member of a local in the Mid-Atlantic Region you’ll receive updates about when your voice is needed to persuade officials to support energy projects.

• When there’s a local project under attack, answer the call to speak up at meetings, by writing letters to newspapers and fighting back in social media.

The rapid growth of natural gas and other energy sources is powering our country, our homes and our families, and created a brighter future for our union. It is up to us to keep a good thing going.

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