Neal Crabtree, a pipeline worker affiliated with Pipeliners Local Union 798, recently penned an Op-Ed in Fox Business providing his unique perspective on the ongoing energy crisis. As a pipeline worker with more than twenty-five years of experience, Crabtree is an expert in the intricate process of safely building pipeline infrastructure, enabling the safe transportation of energy from where it is produced, to where it’s needed. Without pipelines, the U.S. would not be able to efficiently transport crude oil and natural gas used to power homes, businesses and for other important purposes. Even in the midst of one of the worst energy crises our country has experienced, the pipeline industry is still working to ensure affordable access to energy.
Crabtree believes one way to alleviate the energy crisis is for President Biden to reconsider his misguided decision on Keystone XL, which would have transported nearly 1 million barrels of oil a day. Unfortunately, Crabtree lost his job when the Keystone XL Pipeline was canceled by the Biden Administration on the President’s first day in office. The permit issued by the Trump Administration, Crabtree writes, “represented a stable job and income to thousands of laborers across the country. Instead, the Biden Administration canceled it and suggested the pipeliners build solar panels.”
One way the Biden Administration and Congress can encourage new infrastructure projects is to prioritize permitting reform. A 2018 study by the Council on Environmental Quality found review times for energy infrastructure projects have doubled since the 1970s. While Crabtree agrees that pipeline projects should be appropriately vetted, he supports Senator Manchin’s permitting reform framework to streamline the approval of pipeline projects.
The framework laid out by Senator Manchin’s office includes maximum timelines for NEPA reviews, required presidential list of 25 high-priority energy projects to expedite, and more. Crabtree writes, “It is important that President Biden support this framework without delay so we can get back to building American energy infrastructure.”
America must maintain and expand our pipeline network to ensure access to affordable, efficient, and reliable energy. Crabtree concludes, “Not only are these skilled jobs affiliated with unions, but they offer family-sustaining salaries, strong benefits, and a strong essence of fulfillment. Good jobs are something we need more of in these uncertain times, and it’s long overdue for Washington to give us the dignity we deserve.”
Watch Neal Crabtree’s recent appearance on Fox & Friends First HERE.