Apr 14, 2014 - 4:45pm

Union Leader to Keystone XL Opponents in Congress: "Enough is Enough!"


Senior Editor, Digital Content

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Terry O'Sullivan, general president of the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA). Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg.
Terry O'Sullivan, general president of the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA). Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg.

A top union leader has had enough of Keystone XL pipeline opposition in Congress and isn’t going to take it anymore.

Terry O'Sullivan, the general president of Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA), lashed out at House Members who sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry opposing the Keystone XL pipeline, declaring that they will “feel the power” of the union this November.

O’Sullivan responded to the letter by sending a letter of his own to union members in their Congressional districts:

To all proud, strong, and united LIUNA brothers and sisters, I say, enough is enough! Our members and their families are angry, disappointed, and disillusioned with out-of-touch, job-killing politicians who choose to side with environmental extremists over work for our members. These so-called “friends” of ours are destroying good-paying work opportunities with family-supporting benefits, at a time when LIUNA members are trying to put food on their tables, keep roofs over their heads, and maintain middle-class lifestyles.

For every action, there is a reaction, and our reaction to this frontal assault on our way of life needs to be loud and clear: If you do not stand with us, we sure as hell will not stand with you!

Five Environmental Impact Studies conducted by President Obama’s own State Department have all been clear: building the Keystone XL Pipeline won't significantly increase the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. It is outrageous that Congressman [x] chooses to ignore the facts in order to fight against the jobs of hard working LIUNA members. Indeed, it seems that Keystone XL Pipeline opponents will never accept any facts that don’t support their opinion.

You know better than anyone that unemployed construction workers desperately need the work that would be generated by the Keystone XL Pipeline. For thousands of LIUNA members, this isn’t just another pipeline, it’s a lifeline!

Yet many pipeline opponents dismiss these jobs—your jobs—as “dirty,” “temporary,” and of little “real” value to our economy. To them, the work you do, and the careers you have chosen, can and should be sacrificed in favor of a radical environmental agenda that will do nothing to reduce the dangers of climate change.

[Y]our member of Congress has chosen to side with hard-core anti-Keystone organizations rather than with hard working LIUNA members and their families.

Both labor unions and the business community want this project approved. Both understand that the Keystone XL pipeline will create thousands of jobs and grow the economy. It shouldn't be held hostage to in O'Sullivan's words a "radical environmental agenda."

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About the Author

Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.