MADISON, Wis – A group of local citizens, labor leaders and tribal members gathered at the Steamfitters Local 601 Training Center in Madison, Wisconsin on Thursday to show their support for the $450 million proposed Line 5 relocation project in Ashland, Bayfield and Iron Counties. Participants in the event organized by the Wisconsin Jobs and Energy Coalition also took the opportunity to sign a pipeline similar to the one to be used on the proposed project.
The relocation project, which is estimated to create over 700 Wisconsin construction jobs, including for members of the Local 601, is currently being reviewed by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Supporters at Thursday’s event heard from business, labor and tribal leaders on the economic need for the relocation project and why pipelines are the safest way to transport the energy our state, region and nation need to power our economy and ensure our quality of life.
“Members of the building trades, including right here at the Local 601, are some of the best trained, most qualified, pipeline workers on the planet,” Corey Gall, president of the Wisconsin Pipe Trades Association added. “This Line 5 relocation project will not only ensure the energy our state’s workers and families need keeps flowing in the safest method possible, but it will also provide good paying jobs for our members and hundreds of other union workers throughout the state.”
Michelle Johnson of Enbridge stated, “We at Enbridge are proud of our relationship with the building trades and are proud to be working with several trades in Wisconsin to ensure construction of the Line 5 relocation project provides the most well-constructed, safest way to transport energy for all Wisconsinites.”
Nyree Kedrowski, Ho-Chuck tribal member and co-founder of Native-owned Five Skies Training and Consulting, stated, “Enbridge has been transparent and willing to work with Native communities through this entire process, including their promise that over 10% of the total project cost will be spent with Native owned businesses and on training and hiring tribal members.”
In addition to the program and signing, the Madison Safest Way Tour stop occurred during the annual United Association 4th District Apprentice Competition. This regional contest featured the top apprentice plumbers, pipe fitters, sprinkler fitters, service technicians and welders who have advanced from one of 11 state competitions. The winners will go on to represent the region at the 2022 National UA Apprentice Contest.
The stop in Madison was part of a three-day, five-city swing this week for the Safest Way Tour. Other stops on the inaugural tour included Superior, Mellen, Hurley and Rhinelander.
Banners flanked the 34-foot pipe that highlighted these key pipeline facts:
- Pipelines have a 99.99% safety record
- Shutting pipelines like Line 5 would dramatically increase gas and diesel prices in the region
- Line 5 is major supplier of Midwest propone used to heat homes, cook food and dry crops
- Pipeline projects provide good paying jobs and boost local economies
In addition to being the safest way to carry Wisconsin’s critical energy supply, an independent economic impact study estimated the Line 5 relocation project would add $135 million to Wisconsin’s economic output, increase state tax revenues by millions and support more than 1,000 jobs in the State of Wisconsin. Enbridge has signed a letter of intent with Wisconsin-based Michels Pipeline, Inc. as the mainline contractor for the project, and a Project Labor Agreement was recently signed with the Laborers International Union of North America, International Union of Operating Engineers, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters.