Shepstone Management Company, Inc.
LIUNA, the Laborers’ International Union of North America, just messaged New York Democrats; “stop taking us for granted to cater to elitist enviros.”
I try to avoid doing Democrat versus Republican here. I’m more conservative than Republican. I also recognize there are Democrats who support natural gas development on behalf of labor. They include Pennsylvania Senators John Yudichak and John Blake along with the several Democrats who are supporting Pennsylvania Rep. Jon Fritz’s version of the eminent domain bill.
Moving away from Pennsylvania, though, one increasingly finds Democrats, long supported by organized labor, choosing to sell out labor in favor of elitist environmental special interests. LIUNA is among several such unions who are noticing. Indeed, LIUNA just absolutely lambasted New York Democrats regarding their opposition to the Northeast Supply Enhancement pipeline project.
LIUNA General President Terry O’Sullivan, in fact, has written the following letter to Congressman Jerrold Nadler, along with several other prominent Congress members from New York, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (emphasis added):
The Honorable Jerrold Nadler
U.S. House of Representatives
2132 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Nadler:
On behalf of the half-million members of the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA), we are outraged to see yet another natural gas expansion project being used as a pawn for political gain. It goes without saying that the Delegation letter that you recently signed opposing the Northeast Supply Enhancement project (NESE) represents another ill-informed and poorly thought-out policy position. Opposing natural gas and projects like this will lead to fewer middle-class jobs, higher energy prices for those who can least afford them, more environmental degradation, and a further schism between Congressional Democrats and the workers who are trying to provide for their families and their future.
Since the Great Recession, LIUNA’s largest growth in work for our members has been the energy sector, much of it in the pipeline sector, predominantly because of the growth in development of the nation’s natural gas sector. These work hours are generated by private investments from companies who have decided to use the highly trained and skilled workers of the four major pipeline crafts. These jobs provide good wages, health . care benefits, a defined benefit pension, and skills training for new entrants into the workforce, as well as continuing education and training for existing workers so that they can continue to compete against a global workforce.
It is unfortunate that you and some of your colleagues repeatedly drone false talking points written by the environmental fringe to advance a radical agenda which doesn’t create a single job or lower energy costs. Your rejection of incremental progress on environmental stewardship, job creation, and transitioning the United States economy to an environmentally sustainable future is actually setting back the progress we have been making steadily on climate change for the past decade. We need to be thoughtful about our energy policy and not just reactionary and radical without thinking of the real world consequences and what actually makes sense to provide needed energy to the American people while addressing the challenges of climate change. Opposing projects like the NESE is not the solution.
Since the beginning of the 116th Congress, we have received many solicitations to attend dozens of fundraisers to help your reelection, even though you and most of your colleagues who signed the letter have not faced a serious challenge for quite some time. In other words, you are opposed to the jobs that help LIUNA engage politically, but you want our political support? This is cynicism at its best.
I request that you stop playing politics with our members’ jobs. I am sending a copy of this letter to every member in your district so that they can be aware of this job killing effort that you helped lead. LIUNA will continue to support the Northeast Supply Enhancement project so our members can go to work, and New York citizens can continue to access cleaner, affordable energy.
O’Sullivan just laid it out as clearly as anyone could. Nadler, AOC and company have not only taken labor for granted; they’ve thrown laborers to the wind like so much chaff. They now put the interests of gentry class trust-funders and trendy yuppies before those of working families. They are more intent on satisfying the demands of the Hudson Valley “leisure class” William Tucker wrote about so brilliantly in 1977:
The environmentalists knew the language of energy and ecology, and could describe a future filled with windmills and with bright sunshine radiating “inexhaustible energy.” Yet one never got the impression that these people were planning lo be part of it. The “soft energy” of the future was a vision offered to persuade people lo forgo the nastier, more vulgar realities of the “hard energies” of the present…
There was another thing that disturbed me about environmentalism. That was the ‘way it always seemed to favor the status quo. For people who found the present circumstances lo their liking, it offered the extraordinary opportunity to combine the qualities of virtue and selfishness…
The environmental vision is an aristocratic one, conjured at the point where an idyllic past blends nicely with an imaginary future. It can only be sustained by people who have never had to worry much about their security…
The leisure-class environmentalists will be perfectly content to leave things the way they are, regardless of the economic consequences, since, as [Thorstein] Veblen notes, “at any given time this class is in a privileged position, and any departure from the existing order may be expected to work to the detriment of the class rather than the reverse. The altitude of the class [is] to leave well enough alone.”
…The great appeal environmental solutions offer is that they can be worn like a badge of success. To say that one is an “environmentalist” or that one favors “no-growth” is to say that one has achieved enough well-being from the present system and that one is now content to let it remain as it is – or even retrogress a little – because one’s material comfort under the present system has been more or less assured…
Terry O’Sullivan, whether he realizes it or not, is channeling William Tucker. More importantly, he’s saying “no more.” This is huge.
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