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LIUNA Leader from Keystone XL Region Joins Bipartisan News Conference Urging Administration to Unlock Jobs-Creating Project

“Let’s Leave the Politics Behind …We’re Ready, Willing and Able to Go to Work Today to Finish This Pipeline”

Washington, D.C. (February 4, 2014) – Saying the Keystone XL Pipeline “isn’t just a pipeline,” but a “lifeline to good, family-supporting jobs,” the Midwest leader of the Laborers’ International Union urged the Administration to unlock the project during a bipartisan news conference today.

LIUNA Vice President and Midwest Regional Manager John Penn joined Senator John Hoeven (R-N.D.) and Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.), as well as business leaders and national security experts, at the event on Capitol Hill.

“Like much of the country, the recession battered the economy in towns across these states,” Penn said. “While too many politicians in Washington have been studying, re-studying and then re-studying again the impact of the pipeline, men and women have been desperate for good jobs.”

Penn noted that many LIUNA members are veterans who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places around the world, often to stabilize oil-producing regions.

“Not only will this pipeline allow them to come home to a job, building the Keystone XL will secure a safe, reliable source of energy for generations from a trusted ally. That will reduce the likelihood our men and women will again have to put their lives on the line defending sources of oil in countries that are hostile to the United States,’’ said Penn.

On Friday, the U.S. State Department reiterated that its extensive studies determined the project would not significantly contribute to carbon emissions or climate change. And the pipeline is expected to be the most sophisticated yet, with continual remote monitoring and automatic shut-off capabilities.

Upon release of the State Department’s report, LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan said it “underscores what experts have said for five years: there is no environmental justification to block the construction or operation of the pipeline. Let’s leave the politics behind.”

Said Penn: “We’re ready, willing and able to go to work today to finish this pipeline.”

LIUNA has been a long-time proponent of the Keystone XL, supporting efforts by the project owner, TransCanada, to win approval. The union has mobilized its members for hearings and testimony, lobbied the Administration and Congress and held rallies to highlight the benefits of the pipeline.

A public comment period follows the release of the State Department report, during which LIUNA will be active in making sure that the benefits of the pipeline are heard.


The half-million members of LIUNA – the Laborers’ International Union of North America – are on the forefront of the construction industry, a powerhouse of workers who are proud to build America. For the latest news, check out our media kit here.