November 2014
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Also In This Issue Inside Job
Day One IBEW
Membership read_more

Solidarity, Sisters
Activists Gather for
Largest-Ever Women's Conference read_more

Locking Thieves Out
Banning Crooked Contractors from
Federal Jobs read_more

North of 49°
Life Returns to Vancouver Shipyards read_more

Au nord du 49° parallèle
Le retour à la vie des chantiers navals de Vancouver read_more




Change of Address


  Cover Photo

Fueling the Comeback
Energy Boom Powering
Construction Recovery

Better known for its zydeco music clubs and restaurants serving up boiled crawfish, Lake Charles, La., has recently become one of the leaders of the United States' energy revolution — a revolution that has not only radically changed the country's energy portfolio, but has revived a sluggish construction industry, putting tens of thousands of electricians back to work.

Just ask Lake Charles Local 861 Business Manager Jeffrey Sanders. "I haven't been this optimistic since the 1970s," he said.

Every member of his local is working, with an additional 100 travelers in town. "We increased our membership by 30 percent since January," he said.

One of the biggest jobs they are working on is the Golden Nugget casino, a 30,000-square-foot entertainment complex and luxury hotel.

But what's really powering the construction boom in Lake Charles is liquefied natural gas, better known as LNG.

"Pretty much all future work in this area hinges on natural gas," Sanders said.

LNG is natural gas that is converted to liquid form for ease of transport. Built a few years ago, the first local LNG facility in the area was designed to receive natural gas imports. But the rapid growth of gas drilling in the U.S. has made exporting — not importing — a lucrative field for energy companies, forcing a major retooling of the facility.

The Lake Charles Liquefaction Project recently received permission from the U.S. Energy Department to export domestically produced gas.

Two other multibillion dollar export facilities are also in the works, including a $15 billion gas-to-liquids terminal to be built by South African energy giant Sasol.

All in all, more than $240 billion in natural gas and oil related projects are coming to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, stretching from Brownsville on the Texas/Mexico border up through Florida.

Shale Fortunes

Powering this new construction boom is shale gas. Extracted through the sometimes controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing, natural gas extracted from shale deposits has surpassed nuclear power as the U.S.'s second-leading electricity source, just behind coal. read_more

  Local Lines

Officers Column Hill: A Good Jobs Boom? read_more
Chilia: Chutzpah read_more

TransitionsMichael Mowrey;
John J. O'Rourke;
Virgil Hamilton
Carmella Thomas;
A. Don Clark read_more

Organizing WireAriz. Locating Technicians Join IBEW;
Texas Nuclear Workers
Unite to Win Improved Health Care;
Asplundh Trimmers Vote 'Yes' in W.Va.;
Chicago Local Wins at SimplexGrinnell read_more

CircuitsETA Appoints New Director;
Calif. Member Helps Spur AFL-CIO's Youth Engagement
Biden Shows Maine Shipyard Some Love
High School Students Going Green in Spam's Hometown;
Nigerian Utility Workers Visit International Office;
Recruiting for Diversity in
St. Louis;
Saving Hawks in Ill.
Francisco 49ers Stadium: Built IBEW Strong read_more

LettersAll in the Family;
Coal and Jobs;
Where She Belongs read_more

In MemoriamAugust 2014 read_more
September 2014 read_more

Who We AreFirst Nation Member Brings Passion to Manitoba Local read_more