There seemed to be both good and bad news in your recent story “Report: Number of drilled but uncompleted oil and gas wells in U.S. continues to rise” (May 3, TribLIVE) about the number of unfinished wells in the United States. The good news is that the number of unfinished wells in natural-gas dominant areas is falling. More Americans now can benefit from this affordable, clean resource.
The bad news is that, where there is infrastructure left dormant, there are jobs that could be filled, but aren’t.
Your piece mentioned that one of the reasons wells have been left unfinished is because there isn’t enough pipeline capacity. I know we could increase that capacity if activists would stop trying to shut down pipeline development, either by pushing citywide bans on natural gas, asking for new regulations, or by suing over and over again to keep a project from moving forward.
Your story should be a call to action for lawmakers to provide the pipeline capacity we need to get these wells running so we can get people working.
James T. Kunz Jr.
The writer is business manager and international vice president of Local Union 66, International Union of Operating Engineers (www.iuoe.org).