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Labor group backs Atlantic Coast Pipeline

atlantic coast pipelineThe Mid-Atlantic Region of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – hand-delivered nearly 1,600 letters from rank-and-file workers to U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine and Mark Warner supporting the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline project.

More than 700 letters are from Virginia residents who are excited about the economic prosperity the project will bring to communities throughout the Commonwealth, while others are from surrounding states that could benefit from the project. The letters were also submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the lead permitting agency for the proposed project. LIUNA represents more than 8,000 skilled laborers across West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina who are ready to construct the pipeline.

“Our message to Virginia’s senators and the FERC is very simple: it’s time to approve this pipeline so we can put Virginia laborers to work rebuilding our nation’s energy infrastructure,” said Dennis L. Martire, LIUNA Vice President and Mid-Atlantic Regional Manager. “This is the biggest job-creating project we’ve seen in Virginia in many years. It will put thousands of Virginia laborers to work, generate hundreds of millions of dollars in new income for working families and bring more than $1 billion in new investment into our communities. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to rebuild Virginia’s middle class and we need to seize it.”

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline is expected to create more than 8,000 jobs in Virginia over two years, including work for skilled laborers, welders, pipefitters, equipment operators and other trades. Dominion Power, the Virginia partner in the project, and its lead construction contractor have committed to hiring at least half of the construction workforce through local union halls.

“This pipeline is going to bring new industries and good-paying jobs back to Virginia at levels we haven’t seen in years,” Martire said. “We can’t grow Virginia’s middle class without new industries, and we can’t bring those industries to Virginia without new infrastructure like the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. That’s what this pipeline is all about – it’s a jobs pipeline for Virginia’s middle class.”

LIUNA’s highly-skilled members undergo rigorous and routine training to ensure their work is performed to high standards for quality, safety and environmental protection.

“No one is more committed than Virginia’s laborers to building this pipeline safely and in a way that preserves the environment in our communities,” said Martire. “Our members are on the frontlines of protecting public safety and the environment every single day. We have the skills, training and dedication to do this the right way, and all Virginians should feel reassured that their friends and neighbors are going to build this pipeline with their safety foremost in our minds.”

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