Trucking in the Marcellus Gas Industry is Drawing Attention

by Duane Nichols on April 9, 2011

Union members protest non-local truck drivers at the Hastings natural gas extraction plant in Wetzel county.

On April 6,  Union Local 1149 (Operating Engineers 132) members were at the Hastings plant in Wetzel County  protesting the use of non-local  truck drivers, according to the Wetzel Chronicle.   This County currently has a 15 % unemployment rate.  Joe Bowen,  an organizer with the Laborer’s District Council, said: “We need to see local people get these jobs,” whether or not they are union members.  Organizers say they plan to continue their protest for about two weeks.

The Hastings extraction plant of Dominion Resources separates the higher hydrocarbons (“wet” gases) from natural methane, which becomes “pipeline (natural)  gas.”  While the Hastings plant has been in operation for about 40 years, other extraction operations have been constructed with more in the planning stage.  Members of the Affiliated Construction Trades (ACT) Union picketed a natural gas pipeline construction site this past June in central West Virginia supporting “Local Jobs For Local Workers”, as seen in this video

The impacts of Marcellus industry trucks on local roads was considered during an Informational Hearing on Road Damage this past February.  Road damages can be substantial and severe, as can be seen in the description and photos shown on the web-site.

 In Pennsylvania, truck inspections by the State Police have discovered a substantial improvement in truck safety. The average number of citations for every 10 trucks inspected dropped significantly from 8.5 and 9 in September and October, respectively, to 5.8 for March.  These results come from the Scranton Times Leader, after an analysis of data from Operation FracNET which was initiated by the State Police this past September.

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