James T. Kunz, Jr.
Business Manager, International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 66
Pipelines are the infrastructure needed to realize Pennsylvania’s economic future, say the Operating Engineers and they ask the Commonwealth not mess its up.
Pipelines must adhere to strict state and federal regulation throughout construction, testing and infrastructure replacement to ensure system integrity. According to data collected by the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the natural gas delivery system is the safest form of energy delivery in the country.
The Marcellus and Utica shale formations provide great opportunities for Pennsylvania. But the full benefits will not be attained if we do not build the pipelines needed to transport resources to market. A number of key infrastructure projects have been proposed or are in construction right now across the state, and many of our members are on the job today.
But, unnecessary regulatory actions, beyond what is normally required, are causing increased delays and environmental risk. One example is a recent agreement among Sunoco, the Department of Environmental Protection and environmental groups that is causing horizontal directional drilling to start and stop, start and stop — something industry experts agree has the potential for greater harm.
Uncertainty around Pennsylvania’s regulatory policies is hampering development of pipeline infrastructure and hindering our ability to realize the gain from these projects.
Editor’s Note: Mr. Kunz has it exactly correct. Pipelines are the lifeblood of our future economic activity here in Pennsylvania. They supply construction jobs for union workers, they supply much needed economic development in the rural areas of the commonwealth and they delivery energy security, low energy prices and cleaner air to urban areas.