We see that you have javascript disabled. Please enable javascript and refresh the page to continue reading local news. If you feel you have received this message in error, please contact the customer support team at 1-833-248-7801.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Letter: It’s time to recognize the importance of pipeline workers

Suzanne Walker writes, "I can personally attest to the jobs Keystone created and its economic benefits to communities throughout the state. The cancellation resulted in hundreds of layoffs, including my own."

A person holds a letter with the text "letter to the editor" overlaid on the image.
We are part of The Trust Project.

Since his first days in office, President Biden has undermined the hard-working women and men in the oil and gas sector who strive to make energy affordable and reliable across the nation.

I began my career as a pipeline welder in 2008. Over the past 14 years, I’ve worked on numerous energy infrastructure projects across the country. Here in North Dakota, I worked on the now canceled Keystone XL pipeline, on a spread which spanned from Grafton to Fargo. I can personally attest to the jobs Keystone created and its economic benefits to communities throughout the state. The cancellation resulted in hundreds of layoffs, including my own. Skilled pipeline labor is how thousands in my profession support their families, which has become more difficult due to record setting inflation rates and energy costs.

Our leaders should support workers, no matter which sector of the economy they work in. Pipeliners play an important role as part of a comprehensive energy policy that creates jobs, makes the U.S. more competitive, and keeps energy affordable. Our work ensures oil and natural gas flows safely and reliably from where it's produced to where it's needed; providing construction and maintenance jobs to tens of thousands of skilled workers in the process.

One way for Biden to support pipeline workers is to support the Dakota Access Pipeline, a critically important energy project. This pipeline transports up to 750,000 barrels of light sweet crude oil per day from the Bakken formation in North Dakota to Illinois. Additionally, the construction created 12,000 jobs that offered family-sustaining wages and benefits. Since the start of operation, the pipeline has been paying millions in property taxes to North Dakota each year, which supports schools, hospitals, and other critical needs.

In a poll conducted earlier this year of residents of North Dakota, 85% of those asked believe the Dakota Access Pipeline benefits the state’s economy. Projects such as DAPL are crucial for our country, and we should be encouraging these infrastructure projects.

ADVERTISEMENT

Biden should recognize the work all workers do. That means embracing the work of American workers in the natural gas and oil industry and supporting their valuable contributions to keep our country powered.

Suzanne Walker is a pipeline welder who worked on Keystone XL in North Dakota on a spread from Grafton to Fargo. She is affiliated with Pipeliners Local Union 798 and has worked on numerous projects across the country. She lost her job after President Biden canceled Keystone XL in January 2021.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

What to read next
Chandler Esslinger of Fargo writes, "The only 'enabling' going on is Commissioner Piepkorn giving credence to uninformed, stereotypical beliefs that support the continued dehumanization of our most vulnerable community members, which further harms their ability to get the help they deserve as human beings experiencing complex issues."
Tom Kovach of Nevis, Minn., writes, "it is a myth to say that the Americas before the arrival of white people was some sort of Utopia. It wasn't. American Indians fought among each other. There were slaves taken in battle. There were lean times with lack of game or droughts and even human sacrifice. That doesn't excuse the actions of white people, but it certainly wasn't all happy, prosperous times for American natives."
Arland Jacobson of Moorhead responds to the letter "North Dakota and Israel have more in common that you might think" by Rep. Shannon Roers Jones.
Leo F.J. Wilking of Fargo writes, "Bette Grande’s recent column, “Its Democrats who are a threat to ‘our democracy,” begins with a definition of the word “projection.” She then writes that it is President Biden and his followers who are responsible for violence and threats of violence. This is in keeping with Grande’s “Alice in Wonderland” view of current affairs.