My family has been built on the opportunities that our nation’s energy sector has provided us. For the greater part of my life, I’ve watched my father, husband, and son work tirelessly on pipelines across our nation – creating conduits for safe, reliable, and environmentally-conscious energy transport. And for the past 35 years, I’ve joined them serving on projects all over the country.
Yet, with every ambitious environmental policy President Biden enacts, thousands of pipeliners’ careers are threatened. The Biden administration is chipping away at the energy empire Americans like my family have been building for decades.
Working as a welder’s helper since 1986, I was one of the very first women to join the Pipeliners Local Union 798. As a field of work that is predominantly dominated by men, I knew that I had to work extra hard if I wanted to be successful. More than three decades later, I’m proud of my career accomplishments and the important progress my work has helped our nation achieve as it relates to energy independence and affordability.
I’ve seen many new standards passed by legislators to regulate the energy industry over the years. My teams have always gone above and beyond to meet every safety regulation. Through three decades of innovation, I have watched pipelines become more efficient and reliable.
I have witnessed firsthand that pipelines are truly the safest form of transportation for oil and gas products. As the Fraser Institute found, transport by pipeline is 4.5 times safer than both rail and truck. However, even after our completed pipelines proved to be secure, we continue to face endless scrutiny from climate advocates, progressive legislators, and, now the current administration.
For example, I worked on the Dakota Access Pipeline that stretches 1,172 miles across the Dakotas to Illinois, pumping over 750,000 barrels of oil per day, more than 180,000 barrels compared to earlier this year.
Since we completed the project, DAPL has safely operated for four years. However, fringe activists continue to advocate for its shut down.
Despite the protests and vocal opposition, these groups are in the minority, as evidenced by a recent nationwide poll commissioned by the GAIN Coalition and performed by co/Efficient, which found that 8 out of 10 Americans believe that safely operating pipelines should remain active and in use.
Pipeline cancelations like the Keystone XL and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) have left pipeliners like myself out of work since January.
I was forced to retire after President Biden took office and chose to favor Russian pipelines over American infrastructure projects.
Our country’s demand has not changed for reliable and affordable energy, yet the administration is turning to OPEC to deliver resources that we already have here at home.
The United States has the necessary resources to be energy secure rather than being dependent on international suppliers. However, in order to change our current alarming trajectory, policymakers should prioritize our nation and its workers like my family, who are determined to continue building the necessary infrastructure to deliver reliable and affordable energy to the American people.
Jamie Landis, based in Bald Knob, Arkansas, was a welder’s helper for Pipeliners Local Union 798 from 1986 until 2021. Landis recently retired after 35 years due to President Biden’s detrimental energy policies.