Trade union gas support is making a difference in the fracking war as hard-working men and women desiring only to help their families confront the politically correct with facts.
Our friend Jim Willis at Marcellus Drilling News reposted a great editorial the other day that appeared in the Erie Times-News in support of gas drilling and fracking. “Organized labor continues to roar its approval for fracking, pipelines and the shale oil and gas industry in Pennsylvania and beyond,” Jim said. He contrasted this union gas support with the moratoriums and other restrictions proposed by politicians often identified as union allies.
There is, indeed, something very good happening out there among the trades as working men and women stand up for economic development and their own livelihoods. Institutions and politicians who have, heretofore, claimed to speak for some of these workers have taken them for granted. It’s a big mistake. Trade unions are natural allies of natural gas development and are speaking for themselves, delivering union gas support and putting them at odds with other public employee unions who are behind the patently political Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative. Trade unions want jobs, work and opportunities for their families. Too many public employee unions (e.g., the SEIU and other unions supporting the Collaborative) simply want big government.
Here is that excellent Erie Times-News editorial.
BY DENNIS L. MARTIRE
Pennsylvania needs to invest more resources into developing the hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” industry in the Marcellus Shale. Most people know that fracking has played a big role in stabilizing Pennsylvania’s economy during the recent recession.
What most people don’t know is that states like Pennsylvania still possess tremendous potential to continue to grow the fracking industry even further. This will create thousands of good locally grown jobs right here in Pennsylvania.
According to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, energy-intensive manufacturing sectors added more than 196,000 jobs in metro areas from 2010 to 2012. Furthermore, energy-intensive manufacturing employment will increase by more than 1 percent a year through 2020.
This energy revolution is having an amazing impact on our national economy, and states like Pennsylvania have the potential to lead the way on energy-intensive manufacturing employment in the 21st century. Fracking has led to an increase in employment opportunities for people across the state of Pennsylvania.
These new economic opportunities mean larger tax revenues for state and local governments to spend on school construction and public safety.
Pennsylvania workers need to be able to work in good jobs that will allow them to support their families. In today’s global economy, companies keep shedding jobs rather than creating new ones.
By investing more in fracking, we will create thousands of good jobs right here in Pennsylvania. These are jobs that cannot be outsourced to other countries, and they are jobs that will give workers in Pennsylvania the opportunity to build middle-class lives for themselves and their families.
These jobs are good for Pennsylvania communities because they are helping to revitalize once-forgotten stretches of rural Pennsylvania. Local hotels have expanded, restaurants are packed and housing rentals have more than doubled. All of this creates a snowball effect that expands Pennsylvania’s local economies.
As a labor leader in Pennsylvania, I know firsthand just how important good jobs are to working families across our state. Working families are tired of the endless political debates that occur on television over developing fracking.
Working families do not have time to listen to talking heads ramble on and on about fracking. These families need good jobs now.
DENNIS L. MARTIRE is vice president and regional manager of the Laborers International Union of North America in the Mid-Atlantic Region. LIUNA currently has more than 20,000 members in Pennsylvania.
This is leadership and we’re seeing more of it everywhere. A few weeks ago, trade union members were there at a meeting in Berks County to give union gas support to a proposed natural gas to liquids project. I spoke with one of the leaders of Steamfitters Local Union 420 at the time and he educated me on the skills their people bring to the table and the number of well known energy related projects they had completed over the years.
Trade unions are also lining up to support natural gas development in New York State. Vic Furman recently reported on union gas support for the Constitution Pipeline, completely turning the tables on the anti-gas crowd, which proceeded to cry and bemoan the fact anyone else would engage in community organization. These union members have joined hands with other gas supporters in a coalition named Southern Tier Residents for Economic Independence, which represents union workers, local businesses, farmers and landowners. According to the coalition’s mission statement, the group favors “carefully regulated, responsible development of natural gas resources.”
The same type of union gas support has been witnessed in Ohio for some time as this picture from a Mahoning Valley pro-gas rally last year illustrates:
These union members have been outspoken in favor of natural gas development in Ohio and it’s had a major impact as this story illustrates.
The coverage of LIUNA’s statement reveals just how much impact by the reaction of the anti-fracking special interests, including this statement:
“The unions are powerful and influential,” said David Masur, director of Penn Environment, which has been critical of the drilling boom.
PennEnvironment, readers will recall, has been a lot more than “critical of the fracking boom.” It is one of the slimiest of all anti-fracking groups and was responsible for distributing the picture of that flooded Pakistani drilling rig and attributing it to Pennsylvania activity, followed by another similar fraudulent incident a few months later.
It is part of Environment America, which is funded by the same bunch of San Francisco and other snobs who fund the NRDC and most of the other anti-fracking special interests. So, David Masur is right to be worried. Union gas support threatens to deprive him of his meal ticket.
Landowner support of gas drilling as a means to spur desperately needed rural revitalization, combined with union gas support, is unstoppable. It provides for a natural federation of interests to fight back against the unholy alliance of cultural elites, public employee unions and self-serving politicians trying to impose their utopia on the rest of us. Union gas support is making a difference and it’s a big one.