Jim Snell, Business Manager of Steamfitters Local 420 wrote a great piece for the West Chester Daily Local in response to Representative Danielle Friel Otten’s comparison of union construction workers to “Nazis.” Snell, members of organized labor, the Anti-Defamation League, Governor Wolfe, Josh Shapiro, and others disavowed Representative Friel Otten’s comparison.
Much attention has been given to recent comments by Rep. Danielle Friel Otten comparing union members in Pennsylvania to “Nazis.” It’s offensive that such comments were made by anyone, let alone a member of the Pennsylvania legislature.
Members of Steamfitters Local 420 live and work in southeastern Pennsylvania. We are the best-trained, highest-skilled pipe welders in the business and we are proud of the work we do.
The representative and others like to question the safety of the Mariner East pipeline. But keep in mind that we have as much at stake in ensuring that the network operates safely as anyone else. We are residents and neighbors, too.
Mariner East is a critical infrastructure project for Pennsylvania, providing the ability to safely transport energy products from the Marcellus and Utica shale formations to the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex in Delaware County. Pipelines are the safest means to transport these products.
Opponents readily forget this fact — and the fact that Pennsylvania has thousands of pipelines operating safely every day already, some of which carry the same or similar products as Mariner East.
Rep. Friel Otten’s comments were unfortunate. And it’s proof that pipeline opponents will say anything to advocate against pipelines, especially when the facts aren’t on their side.
Energy infrastructure projects like Mariner East, Atlantic Sunrise, and the redevelopment of the Marcus Hook Industrial Complex are critical projects for organized labor in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Mariner East was found to create around 57,000 jobs; Atlantic Sunrise, 8,500 jobs; and just recently, Energy Transfer and the Philadelphia Building Trades signed a project labor agreement (PLA) worth $200 million at Marcus Hook that will create 1,200 jobs.
These facts are lost on pipeline opponents such as Representative Danielle Friel Otten, State Senator Andy Dinniman, and others. Without the facts on their side, they resort to name calling, fear-mongering, and cooking up conspiracies in attempts to advance their anti-progress agenda.
While pipeline opponents are entitled to their own opinions, they cannot deny that increased energy infrastructure in Pennsylvania is good for local workers like the Steamfitters Local 420 and organized labor.