Former KXL worker Writing in North Dakota: Recognize the Value of Pipeliners

Suzanne Walker, a pipeline welder affiliated with Pipeliners Local Union 798, was published in North Dakota’s InForum and Minot Daily News, calling on the Biden administration to support the hard working women and men in the energy industry.  She argues  President Biden has severely undervalued the importance of union workers  in the oil and gas industry by undermining America’s prosperous fossil fuels sector to advance his green agenda. Pipeliners like Ms. Walker are critical to deploying energy infrastructure and ensuring that Americans have affordable and reliable energy.

Throughout the piece, Walker highlights her impressive career in the energy industry. Beginning her career as a pipeline welder in 2008, Suzanne Walker worked the Keystone XL pipeline that stretched from Grafton, ND to Fargo, ND. She notes, “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.” 

No matter what sector of the economy pipeline workers participate in, the administration and local leaders should be supporting them. One instance in which President Biden could show his support for pipeline workers is to support the Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been an immensely critical piece of infrastructure for our domestic energy supply. The construction of the pipeline created 12,000 jobs, providing robust wages and benefits. Additionally, the completion and operation has significantly aided local economies through millions in property taxes, which fund schools, roads, and local emergency services.

While pipeline workers are often overlooked, that does not mean they are not integral to the American economy and way of life. Without them, the U.S. would not have had the ability to fight the volatile energy prices that characterized the past seven months. The GAIN Coalition is extremely appreciative of Suzanne Walker and all other pipeliners’ hard work in securing our energy needs.

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