New infrastructure is an investment in rural economy

July 5, 2017

The below is by MIKE WECKMAN, business manager for LiUNA! (Laborers' International Union of North America) Local 177, Des Moines, OH.

As the conversation in Washington, D.C., has shifted toward infrastructure and energy in recent weeks, it’s important to keep in mind how thoughtful investments in critical infrastructure can impact our economy. Specifically, as we look for ways to build up economies of our rural communities, investments in our nation’s energy delivery system can provide an economic shot in the arm to areas that have been left behind.

I am proud to work with great men and women from across the trades on these important projects. Pipelines, for example, offer tremendous opportunities for skilled laborers to showcase their aptitude while constructing crucial infrastructure with world-class safety standards, structural integrity and the added capacity we need.

Highly skilled men and women in our region are eager to get to work on important projects such as Keystone XL. They understand that if we’re going to answer the call to get our rural economies headed in the right direction again, we must take action to be part of America’s energy solution. We absolutely need to be constructing the capacity necessary to deliver safe and affordable natural gas and oil to our homes and businesses to remain competitive on the global stage.

It’s no secret that these projects must be completed with sincere respect for the environment. This is exactly why American laborers are the perfect fit for the job. Nowhere in the world is there a group of men and women better suited to take on these projects with the highest level of skill, and best available technology than right here in the heart of the Midwest.

These infrastructure projects will infuse cash and good paying construction jobs into our communities again, reversing the atrophy of our rural economies with economic promise and sustainable and affordable sources of energy. Projects like Keystone also mean increased tax revenue — about $121 million across three states — in the first year...

Read entire article at USA Today.

 

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