On Friday, North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) released two reports that assessed the construction job opportunities and quality in the energy sector. The reports were commissioned by NABTU and found that both union and non-union energy construction workers report that oil and natural gas jobs provide a better quality of life.
“The research confirms what our members tell us: the career opportunities for renewables are nowhere near what they are in gas and oil, and domestic energy workers highly value the safety, reliable duration and compensation of oil and gas construction jobs.” said Sean McGarvey, President of NABTU.
To the Engineering News Record, McGarvey highlights the benefits that oil and natural gas projects have over renewable projects like better wages, benefits, and a longer duration for a steadier income. While the transition to include more renewable energy sources continues, McGarvey calls on policy makers to help make for comparable labor standards between industries. “We can’t transition into careers where people take a 50% or a 75% pay cut … That’s the problem that we’ll have to solve.”
Even though renewables’ share of electric generation is predicted to double, natural gas will still play a crucial role in the economy. Pennsylvania is fortunate enough to have resources from the Utica and Marcellus Shales and an infrastructure system to transport those resources throughout the Commonwealth, providing the state with affordable energy, employment opportunities, and tax revenue. Projects like Mariner East and the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex were completed by laborers with the type of job McGarvey describes and are vital to the energy and construction industries.