The Publication for Merit Shop Pipeline Contractors AMERICAN PIPELINE CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION 2nd Quarter 2023 New APCA President Roy Weaver, Weaver, LLC APCA Leaders Lobby Congress on Key Pipeline Issues America Needs Immigration Reform Contract Law: What Goes Up Must Come Down Violence in the Workplace: Preventive Measures for Employers
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PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 5 Officer Directors Official Publication of the American Pipeline Contractors Association Board of Directors Publication Staff PO Box 638 Churchton, MD 20733 (703) 212-7745 • www.americanpipeline.org ©2023 American Pipeline Contractors Association Nick Bertram Jomax Construction Co., Inc. Mike Castle, Jr. Castle Scott Coppersmith Mears Group, Inc. David Dacus (Advisory) Troy Construction, LLC Taylor Dacus Troy Construction, LLC Shannon Driver Holloman Corporation Ricky Dyess M.G. Dyess, Inc. John Fluharty (Advisory) Mears Group, Inc. Patrick McRae Primoris Pipeline Adam Nietsche Pumpco, Inc. Sean Renfro Sunland Construction, Inc. Aaron Simon (Advisory) Troy Construction, LLC Publisher Timothy Wagner Editor Michael Ancell Advertising Sales Stacy Bowdring Information Technology Greg Smela Accounting James Wagner Layout & Design Joseph Wagner Government Affairs Jaime Steve Government Affairs Zachary Perconti President Roy Weaver Weaver, LLC President-Elect Kevin LaBauve WHC Energy Services Vice President Nick Bruno Bi-Con Services Secretary/Treasurer Chris Jones HardRock Directional Drilling, LLC AMERICAN PIPELINE CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION APCA Leaders Lobby Congress on Key Pipeline Issues 7 By Jaime Steve & Zack Perconti A focused and effective group of APCA members, led by President Roy Weaver and Government Affairs Committee Chair Kevin LaBauve traveled to Washington, D.C., in April to lobby members of Congress on key issues affecting the pipeline construction industry. In just one day, the group of contractors and associates met with 28 House and Senate offices representing more than a dozen states. APCA Celebrates Past, Plans for Future at 2023 Convention 16 Nearly 330 APCA members traveled to the Bahamas in March for the 52nd Annual APCA Convention, which boasted record attendance, a powerful education program, a new slate of association leaders, the launch of the new APCA Hall of Fame, the first-ever APCA Auction, and plenty of good times at the fabulous Baha Mar Resort. Human Resources | By Greg Guidry 11 Contract Law | By John Grayson 14 News Briefs 30 Member News 36 Industry Calendar 41 New APCA Members 41 Advertiser Index 41 Last Word | by Tim Wagner 42 2nd Quarter 2023
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PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 7 A focused and effective group of APCA members, led by President Roy Weaver, Weaver, LLC, and Government Affairs Committee Chair Kevin LaBauve, WHC Energy Services, traveled to Washington, D.C., in April to lobby members of Congress on four key issues affecting the pipeline industry. In just one day, the group of contractors and associates met with 28 House and Senate offices representing more than a dozen states. APCA members in the group were Past President Taylor Dacus (Troy Construction), Patrick McRae (Primoris Pipeline), John Fry (Sunbelt Equipment), Chip Edwards (Allan Edwards), Ashley Donnell (Allan Edwards), Mike Castle (Castle), Travis Casper (Ozzie’s), Brian Tanner (EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants), Paul Cook (Sunland Construction), Peter Wallace (TVT), and Karl Schwartz (Beard Oil). All volunteered their time and energy on behalf of the industry. The big four issues we brought to the attention of Congress were permitting reform for energy projects, labor issues, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Act (PHMSA) reauthorization, and the importance of pipeline infrastructure for new uses, including the transport of hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization and storage. Everyone in the group did an excellent job highlighting the real-world impact of federal policies affecting how projects get built and the regulations that can make or break a project or a business. There is no substitute for members of Congress hearing directly from those doing the work. INSIDE WASHINGTON Zack Perconti APCA Government Affairs Representative email@example.com (703) 677-6049 Jaime Steve APCA Government Affairs Representative firstname.lastname@example.org (202) 841-5493 Continued on page 8 APCA Leaders Lobby Congress on Key Pipeline Issues During a break between meetings with lawmakers are, from left, Zack Perconti, APCA; Kevin LaBauve, WHC Energy Services; Peter Wallace, TVT; Karl Schwartz, Beard Oil; Brian Tanner, EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants; Paul Cook, Sunland Construction; and Roy Weaver, Weaver, LLC.
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 8 Permitting Reform APCA members urged lawmakers to bring common sense to the federal permitting process through reforms aimed at shortening timelines and reducing frivolous obstructions allowed under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). House Republicans approved permitting reform as part of a larger energy cost reduction bill (H.R. 1) in April. While H.R. 1 is seen as dead-on-arrival in the U.S. Senate because of numerous other issues, its permitting reform provisions appear to have both Democratic and Republican support in the Democratic-controlled Senate. Late last year, Senate Democrats had an agreement among themselves to pass permitting reform as proposed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), but that agreement was torpedoed by opposition from the far left coupled with a withdrawal of Republican support. This year, the Democratic commitment is still strong while Senate Republicans certainly want to pass permitting reform legislation. Despite many hurdles ahead, APCA is optimistic that a permitting reform bill can be passed into law by the end of this year. (At the time this article was written, White House and House Republican negotiators on the Debt Limit issue were considering including a version of energy project permitting reform as part of a broad agreement on federal spending.) Labor Issues APCA members made clear to members of Congress that we strongly oppose the recently reintroduced Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would radically upend decades of established U.S. labor relations law and practices in an effort to boost union membership. The APCA group also discussed its support for the Employee Rights Act, which was introduced in April. This bill would guarantee the right to a secret ballot election, protect employee privacy, and establish a clear standard for independent contractors and joint employment. APCA members also stated support for the Fair and Open Competition Act (H.R. 1209/S. 537), which would prohibit the government from mandating project labor agreements (PLAs) on federal projects over $35 million. PLAs not only increase project costs, but also force contractors to rely on a smaller pool of union-only workers. The Biden administration, while not totally mandating PLAs, is highlighting them as a preferential factor in awarding federal contracts over $35 million. PHMSA Reauthorization Congress is now looking at reauthorizing the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Act (PHMSA). As it does, APCA is urging lawmakers to keep the law focused on safety issues versus the climate change policies the Biden administration is trying to stuff into the existing law. PHMSA, a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation, develops and enforces regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound operation of the nation’s 2.6-million-mile Inside Washington Continued from page 7 Dedicated APCA members at the U.S. Capitol: John Fry, Sunbelt Equipment Marketing, Inc; Peter Wallace, TVT; Kevin LaBauve, WHC Energy Services; Patrick McRae, Primoris Pipeline; Taylor Dacus, Troy Construction; Karl Schwartz, Beard Oil; and Paul Cook, Sunland Construction.
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 9 pipeline transportation system and the nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials by land, sea, and air. APCA members told House and Senate offices that an updated rewrite of the PHMSA law should create a new pilot program for mapping underground infrastructure to boost damage prevention. This would be a $10 million program over three years aimed at establishing early mapping efforts in specific locations. APCA members also urged support for the Pipeline Sabotage and Accident Prevention Act (H.R. 1484) from Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), which would protect the right to peaceful protest while closing legal loopholes that have allowed dangerous actions by protesters to escape legal penalties. APCA acknowledges the right to peaceful protest and freedom of speech, but strongly condemns tampering with the construction and operation of pipeline infrastructure, which poses a direct safety risk to the public and the environment. The APCA government affairs team has been meeting directly with congressional staff on this issue. New Uses of Pipeline Infrastructure The fourth issue raised by APCA members with House and Senate offices was the importance of pipeline infrastructure for new uses, including the transport of hydrogen and carbon capture, utilization, and storage. Many members of Congress and their staffs were not previously familiar with these new uses for pipeline infrastructure. APCA members covered a lot of ground during the fly-in and made a huge impact by talking with numerous House and Senate offices about issues vital to the pipeline construction industry. We urge more APCA members to join the next APCA D.C. fly-in to help promote and defend our industry. Workforce/Immigration Issues An additional issue that came up in many Capitol Hill meetings was the need for more workers and how to get them. One solution is the newly revised and reintroduced bipartisan Dignity Act (H.R. 3599) from Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla.) and Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.). This is the first serious bipartisan bill on immigration issues in Congress for years. It calls for beefing up border security and creating a way for folks already in the U.S. to enter the workforce and pay their taxes. Original cosponsors of the bill include Reps. Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-P.R.), Hillary Scholten (D-Mich.), Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R-Ore.), Kathy Manning (D-N.C.), Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), and Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.). The Dignity Act contains four core principles: 1. Stopping illegal immigration, 2. Providing a dignified solution for undocumented immigrants living in America, 3. Strengthening the American workforce and economy, and 4. Ensuring the United States remain prosperous and competitive in the future. Upon reintroducing the bill, Salazar said, “Our broken immigration system is frustrating Americans, causing people to suffer, and fracturing our country— economically, morally, socially, and politically. A solution is long overdue. I am proud to introduce the new and improved, bipartisan Dignity Act. This bill gives dignity to the border agents who need support, the job creators who need employees, the American people who need secure borders, and those who currently live in the shadows.” Proposed Natural Gas Bans/Restrictions In other developments on Capitol Hill, Matthew J. Agen, the American Gas Association’s chief regulatory counsel for energy, testified in opposition to the Department of Energy’s (DOE) proposed Cooking Products Rule, which would restrict the use of natural gas stoves. Testifying before the House Oversight and Accountability Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs, Agen stated, “The natural gas industry is ready, willing, and able to support cost-effective, consumer-friendly efficiency measures that are economically justified and technologically feasible. Unfortunately, DOE’s proposal is an attempt to remove a large portion of natural gas cooking products from the market. The proposal would remove popular features from gas cooktops such as cast-iron grates and high input power burners. This is one of many attempts by DOE to limit customer access to gas appliances, such as DOE’s proposal to remove large number of gas furnaces from the market. DOE’s proposed rule is not an energy efficiency measure, it is an improper effort to remove natural gas appliances from the market...that would result in nominal energy and cost savings.” 7 While H.R. 1 is seen as dead-on-arrival in the U.S. Senate because of numerous other issues, its permitting reform provisions appear to have both Democratic and Republican support in the Democratic-controlled Senate.
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PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 11 HUMAN RESOURCES Greg Guidry Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart firstname.lastname@example.org (337) 769-6583 Continued on page 12 The issue of violence in the workplace has become an issue of great concern for all employers in the United States, given the frequency of incidents that are occurring in 2023. According to available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20,050 people experienced trauma from nonfatal workplace violence in 2020. In the same year, 392 workers were killed by homicide: 81 percent were men, 28 percent were Black, 18 percent were Hispanic, and 20 of the victims were in the construction and extraction industry. What is workplace violence? It is any act of aggression, or threat of an act, that threatens the safety, security, or well-being of an individual who is at work or on duty. You know it when you see it. There are different types of workplace violence: Type 1: Criminal Intent. The aggressor has no legitimate relationship to the workplace. The largest number of workplace incidents fall into this type/category. Type 2: Customer/Client/Patient: Aggressor is recipient/ object of service provided (i.e., patients, clients, customers, passengers, etc.). Type 3: Co-Worker/Employee. Aggressor has employment-related involvement with the workplace. Type 4: Personal. Aggressor does not work within the business but is known to/has personal relationship with an employee. What laws are implicated by workplace violence issues? As we all know because of the political discourse that follows each active shooter incident, there are competing concerns: laws that protect gun possession and laws that require employers to provide a safe workplace. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The Supreme Court ruled in 2008 that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to keep and use arms for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. More recently in a 2022 decision, the Court held that there is a constitutional right for citizens to carry a firearm outside the home for self-defense, invalidating the previous stringent licensing requirements for concealed carry permits in California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and D.C. Twenty-four states have laws that permit guns to be kept in locked employee vehicles. The laws vary somewhat from state to state, so if you have any policies banning weapons in vehicles, you will need to review the laws of the state you are working in to determine the legality of your policy and the penalty for violating the applicable law. Although OSHA has not yet developed any standards on workplace violence, it has issued several guidelines on enforcement under its general duty clause. OSHA’s general duty clause requires all employers to provide their employees with a workplace free from recognized hazards likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Depending on the circumstances, OSHA could issue a citation under the General Duty Clause. However, there are court decisions holding that gun-related workplace violence is not a “recognized hazard” under the general duty clause. OSHA is currently working on a standard on workplace violence in healthcare facilities. Its proposed rule would require Violence in the Workplace: Preventive Measures for Employers As we all know because of the political discourse that follows each active shooter incident, there are competing concerns: laws that protect gun possession and laws that require employers to provide a safe workplace.
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 12 a workplace violence prevention program, regular hazard assessments, implementation of control measures, training, incident investigation, maintenance of a workplace violence log, and anti-retaliation provision to encourage reporting. Several states have passed legislation with similar requirements to OSHA’s proposed healthcare standard, and there are currently many bills pending in state legislatures adding or expanding those laws. What are some strategies all employers, including construction industry employers, can implement? 1. Develop Workplace Violence Policy and Procedures • Consider your hiring practices ◆ Background checks consistent with Fair Credit Reporting Act and anti-discrimination laws ◆ Reference checks ◆ Consider your interview questions • Non-discrimination/anti-harassment policy that includes anti-bullying provisions • Various reporting procedures • Work rules/code of conduct • Weapons policy (to include premises and company vehicles) • Accommodation/leave policy • Employee Assistance Program resources 2. Supervisor/Manager Training • To recognize behavioral markers ◆ Fascination/display of weapons ◆ Substance abuse/under influence ◆ Signs of severe stress ◆ Violent history ◆ Signs of poor psychological functioning ◆ Decreased or inconsistent production ◆ Social isolation and poor peer relationships ◆ Poor personal hygiene ◆ Drastic changes in personality • Duty to report observations/complaints of bullying or threatening behavior • Consideration of risk of violence with discipline/termination and planning accordingly • How to Deal with Threats of Violence OSHA is currently working on a standard on workplace violence in healthcare facilities. Its proposed rule would require a workplace violence prevention program, regular hazard assessments, implementation of control measures, training, incident investigation, maintenance of a workplace violence log, and anti-retaliation provision to encourage reporting. period in the aftermath of the threats • Termination Protocol ◆ Do not give advance notice of a termination ◆ Consider conducting termination(s) remotely ◆ Do not allow employee to leave the exit interview unescorted ◆ Consider whether conducting exit interview is necessary ◆ Keep termination meetings short and concise ◆ Listen to employee and avoid arguing ◆ Have adequate security available in the event of a violent outburst ◆ If necessary, communicate with current employees to explain what happened to allay their fears and answer any questions 3. Employee Awareness • If you see something say something—often connected on social media and seeing troubling posts • Educate employees on reporting procedures, emergency action plan, and crisis management team • Consider mock training exercises • Run, hide, or fight training 4. Emergency Action Plan • Conduct Risk Assessment ◆ Existing or potential hazards? ◆ History or pattern of workplace violence? ◆ Neighborhood crime patterns? ◆ Industry experiences? ◆ Job-specific exposures? ◆ Alert any employee under threat as soon as possible after learning of the circumstances ◆ Remove a current employee making threats from the workplace (with security if needed) ◆ Contact law enforcement, report the threat, and, if necessary, follow up with law enforcement encouraging it to act to protect the workplace or employees ◆ File for and attempt to secure a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the employee who made the threats, keeping in mind that securing the TRO may not eliminate the threat ◆ Retain qualified private security to protect the workplace for some time Human Resources Continued from page 11
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 13 ◆ Physical work environment? • Security Measures ◆ Implementing security monitoring systems ◆ Using limited access key cards ◆ Checking employee identification cards ◆ Installing emergency warning systems ◆ Hiring full-time or after-hours security guards ◆ Establishing strictly enforced visitor sign-in policies ◆ Thoroughly screening the backgrounds of new employees ◆ Providing security escorts for those employees working late ◆ Assessing the need for metal detectors ◆ Establishing safe room for employees during emergencies • Formulate a Crisis Plan ◆ Assessing/monitoring the incident ◆ Summoning help ◆ Warning employees ◆ Locking the building/securing the area ◆ Waiting for emergency response personnel ◆ Working with police/fire/paramedics to resolve the situation ◆ Managing follow-up activities ◆ Conduct drills 5. Establish Crisis Management Team • Purpose is to manage and assess threatening situations • Membership should include ◆ Human Resources ◆ Security ◆ Medical ◆ Legal • Responsible for maintaining accurate contact information • Incident investigation and post-incident analysis is critical All construction industry employers are strongly encouraged to review their current policies and practices on this serious issue and beef them up if necessary. 7 Equipment Solutions for the Energy Industry semicrawlers.com | 800-524-2591 500 Davenport Drive College Station, TX 77845 79 Firetower Road Louisville, MS 39339
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 14 That old rock song1 was right about construction material costs going up, but when, or if, they come down is anyone’s guess. For a lot of reasons, it seems the last two or three years have been particularly challenging. The construction industry, including pipeline construction, has seen extreme gyrations in the cost of materials. These cost increases are not limited to the big-ticket items such as labor, steel, mats, and fuel, but day-to-day consumables have jumped in price as well. Because costs directly impact your bottom line, we should do what we can to minimize or shift this risk to the owner. In every industry, there are risks and there is no way to avoid all of them, but a well-thought-out contract that fairly allocates risk can make a big difference. Here, I offer a few simple provisions prudent contractors should consider including in their contracts. Cost-Plus Contract A simple and straightforward cost-plus contract can provide the contractor with the best protection or “cover” against material price increases. Generally, the owner assumes the risk of increases and the contractor is protected. These are not always possible to get because the risk of price increases is completely shifted to the owner, so you can expect a certain amount of pushback. It is also possible to hybridize a cost-plus contract by applying the cost-plus provisions to only certain specific cost components. If there is reason to believe that certain particular materials or supplies may experience higher than normal inflation, the parties could agree to a cost-plus handling of those items only, but clearly defining the components to which this provision applies is essential. Material Price Escalation Clause A material price escalation clause shifts the risk of increased costs for those items specifically identified to the owner. Provisions to protect against material price escalations can vary, but the following are four of the most common: 1. Threshold escalation clause, 2. All-increase escalation clause, 3. Delay escalation clause, and 4. Force majeure. In any of these provisions, with the notable exception of force majeure, it is not necessary to specify the particular cost covered, but if you make an effort to tailor the provision to address certain particular costs, you may have more luck in securing an agreement. Each provision is briefly addressed below. 1. Threshold Escalation Clause Just as its name implies, the threshold escalation clause allows for additional compensation when material prices exceed an established percentage or dollar amount increase. These clauses can include a cap on the amount of increase available and can be based on the actual cost of the item or an indexed cost with reference to an agreed price index. Sample threshold escalation clause: “If, during the performance of this Contract, the price of materials, goods, or equipment to be provided by Contractor significantly increases, through no fault of Contractor, the Contract Sum will be equitably adjusted by an amount reasonably necessary to cover any such price increase, as well as any additional costs and expenses incurred by Contractor arising therefrom. As used herein, a significant price increase shall mean any increase in price exceeding 20 percent occurring after the date of execution of the Contract.” 2. All-Increase Escalation Clause This type of escalation clause is similar to the threshold escalation clause except that in the all-increase clause, instead of having to reach a certain minimum threshold increase before the clause is triggered, a contractor is entitled to compensation for all price increases that occur either after submission of the bid or after performance of the contract has begun (NTP, mobilization, or kick-off). Effectively, this mechanism converts the materials cost portion of a contract to a cost-plus and entitles the contractor to an equitable adjustment regardless of how high the costs go. CONTRACT LAW John L. Grayson Cokinos | Young email@example.com (713) 535-5573 What Goes Up Must Come Down
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 15 Sample all-increase escalation clause: “If, during the performance of this Contract, the price of materials, goods, or equipment to be provided by Contractor increases, through no fault of Contractor, the Contract Sum will be equitably adjusted by an amount reasonably necessary to cover any such increase, as well as any additional costs and expenses incurred by Contractor arising therefrom.” 3. Delay Escalation Clause A delay escalation clause sets a fixed price for materials for a certain period of time, after which the contractor is entitled to additional compensation if the material prices increase. In other words, the contractor is locked into materials pricing until an agreed date or until the occurrence of an owner-caused delay, at which time one of the above clauses would be triggered and costs would be adjusted. This provision can be limited to owner-caused delays, and they can be written to include a minimum escalation threshold as well. 4. Force Majeure Clause This familiar clause can be a lifesaver, but it does not protect against all types of cost increases and should not be relied upon for that purpose. Force majeure excuses strict contract performance only for certain specified reasons outside the control of the parties and only for a specified duration. This provision transfers risk for specific and known, but rare risks. Typical force majeure events include at least: war, floods, labor disputes, earthquakes, epidemics, adverse weather conditions not reasonably anticipated, and other acts of God. If a specific force majeure event is not listed in the definition, this clause is no help to a contractor needing cost relief. Therefore, carefully review the force majeure clause to be sure it includes as much as you might need. Laws vary from state-to-state, and not everything you might want to include in the definition is permissible under applicable law. Importantly, in most jurisdictions, mere financial hardship alone, even if extreme, may not be a force majeure event. A few years ago, I was involved in a case where a change in OSHA regulations roughly doubled certain labor costs. Neither party anticipated this change in OSHA regulations, and the force majeure clause did not list changes in applicable law as a force majeure event. Needless to say, this was a big problem. Based on that experience, I routinely recommend including changes in applicable law in the force majeure definition. A Word of Caution Use of a price escalation clause can, and often does, require disclosure of the contractor’s cost information and proprietary methodology. If you decide to employ one of these clauses, a strong confidentiality provision, specifically addressing cost data and methodology, is a must. Conclusion There is not enough room here to fully discuss the ins and outs of these provisions, and prudent contractors will periodically review this aspect of his contract with counsel to be sure they are taking advantage of all available protections against extreme cost increases. 7 Authors note: I gratefully acknowledge the work of my Houston colleagues, David Tolin, Russell Smith, and Peter Wells, whose work is included in this article. End note 1. “Spinning Wheel,” Blood Sweat & Tears (1968). Provider of Launchers and Receivers for all Pipe Diameters Our Rentals Include: • Pig Launcher Rentals (4”-48”) • Pig Receiver Rentals (4”-48”) • Pig Sales • Valve Rentals 713-906-0271 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com www.tcrentalsinc.com P.O. Box 1688 • Tomball, TX 77377
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 16 APCA Celebrates Past, Plans for Future at 2023 Convention Nearly 330 APCA members traveled to the Bahamas in March for the 52nd Annual APCA Convention, which boasted record attendance, a powerful education program, a new slate of association leaders, the launch of the new APCA Hall of Fame, the first-ever APCA Auction, and plenty of good times at the fabulous Baha Mar Resort. APCA members welcomed new President Roy Weaver, Weaver, LLC, who said that he is proud of the opportunity they have given him and looks forward to working with them, the board, and the staff to promote and protect merit-shop pipeline construction. “APCA members don’t back off, back away, or back down when things get tough,” he said. “We keep going to work every day because we know what we do makes a difference for our country.” The other new APCA officers are President-Elect Kevin LaBauve, WHC Energy Services; Vice President Nick Bruno, Bi-Con Services; and Secretary/Treasurer Chris Jones, HardRock Infrastructure Services, and new Board members are Shannon Driver, Holloman Corporation, and Adam Nitsche, Pumpco, Inc. In a touching ceremony, APCA inducted the first three people into its Hall of Fame, recognizing their contributions to the association and to the merit-shop pipeline construction industry: David Dacus of Troy Construction, Jimmy Montgomery of Montgomery Trucking Co., and Shell Sanford of Sunbelt Tractor & Equipment Co. APCA also presented outgoing President Taylor Dacus, Troy Construction, with the 2023 APCA Distinguished Service Award and honored outgoing Associate President Jason Hunt, Montgomery Trucking. Educational programming kicked off with keynoter Ross Bernstein, a best-selling author who spun fascinating stories about champion athletes into wise and practical business advice. He talked about the passion of Kirby Puckett, the mental toughness of Bud Grant, the compassion of Pat Summitt, and more. Referencing hockey great Wayne Gretzky, who had twice as many career assists as goals, Ross said: “We choose to do business with givers, not takers. Be generous.” Day two featured an informative government relations panel with Sue Forrester from the American Gas Association, Sarah Magruder Lyle from the Common Ground Alliance, PCCA President Taylor Dacus from Troy Construction, and APCA government affairs reps Zack Perconti and Jaime Steve.
Forrester spoke on the popularity of natural gas (“People like gas; all of the numbers are going up”), the November referendum to overturn Eugene, Oregon’s ban on gas hookups in new homes (the first such vote in the U.S.), how gas is essential to many industries, and how America needs a greater commitment to pipelines (audience: much applause). “Solutions are what we need to be talking about,” she said. “We are in the solutions business, and you all are a big part of that.” Magruder Lyle talked about CGA buying the Gold Shovel Association and transforming it into the Damage Prevention Institute, which addresses damage prevention’s systematic challenges through shared accountability. She said that unlike Gold Shovel, DPI will not require participation. “We’re a trade association, and we’re going to act like one,” she said. She lso explained CGA’s new “50 in 5” industry challenge, aimed at reducing damages to critical underground utilities by 50 percent in five years. “This is a very aggressive goal,” she said, “but the fact of the matter is that we have the ability to do this.” The next session was an update on the work of the Natural Allies for a Clean Energy Future. The group’s Executive Director Susan Waller explained how the group’s strategy to promote natural gas is gaining traction with groups that are not typically part of our base, including young people, minorities, and moderate Democrats. She said that the new FERC Chairman Willie Phillips is very supportive of Natural Allies and has talked about the value of natural gas and pipeline infrastructure. “We are really making a difference right now,” she emphasized. That evening, APCA held its 1st Annual Auction to raise funds for Natural Allies for a Clean Energy Future, and it was a huge success. We raised nearly $330,000, and everyone had a blast! Many thanks to Ritchie Bros., auctioneer Gary Seybold, and his spotter Blaine Finstad for making the auction run smoothly and profitably. Industry learning continued on day three with a crowded ballroom at the Annual Associates Exhibit & Breakfast, where contractors met with associate members to learn more about the jobsite and business solutions they offer. “When the Board developed the plan for an Associates Exhibit back in 2018, we knew that it would be popular with associate members, but we didn’t know that contractor members would like it so much,” APCA’s Tim Wagner said. “They really appreciate the chance to talk with associates in a low-pressure setting and to thank them for their support of APCA and the industry.” Mark Bridgers, Continuum Capital, hit the stage following the exhibit with his session, Energy Transition Opportunities: Carbon Capture Pipelines, featuring Nick Kubala of Navigator CO2 Ventures (Heartland Greenway), Nick Medina of ExxonMobil, and James Powell of Summit Carbon Solutions. The session helped APCA understand the nuances of CO2 pipeline development and how it will pay dividends in the near future. The convention’s final day featured Greg Guidry, Ogletree Deakins, and his Recent Developments in Employment Law that he presents at every APCA meeting. Discussing the activities of the administration, agencies, Congress, and the courts, Guidry’s news is rarely positive, especially when there’s a Democrat in the White House, but he delivers it with brutal honesty and lots of humor. It’s a presentation that no APCA member should miss. That night at the Final Party, outgoing President Taylor Dacus closed the convention with a passionate state-of-thepipeline industry speech, recognizing the APCA leaders who preceded him and taught him so much. He also thanked APCA members for entrusting him to lead the association and for their generosity to the pipeline industry. He’s sees great things for the pipeline industry and for APCA: “We have a foot down on the accelerator, and we are not letting off!” 7
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 18 Images of APCA 2023 6 Keynote speaker Ross Bernstein extracts nuggets of practical business advice from the stories of champion athletes and also shares the pain that the Green Bay Packers inflicted upon Minnesota Vikings fans, such as himself, over the years.
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 19 Continued on page 34 6APCA Past President Mike Castle, Castle, shares a laugh with fellow members before saying Grace at the Opening Dinner. 4Upon receiving the 2023 APCA Distinguished Service Award, outgoing association President Taylor Dacus, Troy Construction, thanked APCA members for entrusting him to lead the association. He’s sees great things for the pipeline industry and for APCA: “We have a foot down on the accelerator, and we are not letting off!”
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 20 3 The 2023 APCA Hall of Fame class: Jimmy Montgomery of Montgomery Trucking Co., David Dacus of Troy Construction, and Shell Sanford of Sunbelt Tractor & Equipment Co. 5Mark Bridgers, Continuum Capital, discusses the future of carbon capture pipeline development and how it could benefit APCA’s contractor and associate members.
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 21 5While introducing keynote speaker Ross Bernstein at the Opening Session, Meghan Connors, PipeSak, also announced the retirement of her colleague and longtime APCA member Rocky Seils. Good luck, Rocky! 6Greg Guidry, Ogletree Deakins, and delivers his Recent Developments in Employment Law material with brutal honesty and, thankfully, a heavy dose of humor. 6 Natural Allies for a Clean Energy Future Susan Waller thanks APCA members for their support, saying that our investment in promoting natural gas is “really making a difference right now.”
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 22 4Board members Ricky Dyess, M.G. Dyess, LLC; David Dacus, Troy Construction; Nick Bruno, Bi-Con Services; and Chris Jones, HardRock Infrastructure Services, pay close attention to Tim Wagner’s financial report during the Board meeting. 5APCA President Taylor Dacus welcomes his fellow members to the 52nd Annual APCA Convention with an upbeat message for the merit shop pipeline construction industry: “We have record attendance and an attitude as vibrant as my shirt!” 5Keynote speaker Ross Bernstein said that Tennessee’s all-time great basketball coach Pat Summitt didn’t always have the best players, but she had the right players, players with whom she had built trust. “Her players worked extra hard for Pat; do your employees work extra hard for you?” 3Incoming APCA President Roy Weaver, Weaver, LLC, chats with Blair Finstad, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, at the Board & Sponsors Reception. 3Ricky Dyess, M.G. Dyess, LLC, has a big welcome for Linda & Amie Beard, Beard Oil, at the Board & Sponsors Reception. 6 Keith Boyet, Cross Country Infrastructure Services, and Jared Shuler, YAK MAT, greet Randy Hayes, Vacuworx, LLC, at the Board & Sponsors Reception. 4Enjoying the APCA Welcome Reception are Tonya Stewart; Olivia & Gus Garza, CRC-Evans Pipeline International; and Shell Sanford, Sunbelt Tractor & Equipment Co. 4 Below Right, Nicole & Ralph Bruno, Cleveland Brothers, grab a quick photo-op with Kendrick & Rebecca Edwards, Caterpillar Global Pipeline at the Welcome Reception..
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 23 5 During the Government Relations Panel, Sue Forrester, American Gas Association, told APCA members: “Solutions are what we need to be talking about. We are in the solutions business, and you all are a big part of that.” 6Natural Allies Executive Director Susan Waller says that the group’s strategy to promote natural gas is gaining traction with groups that are not typically part of our base, including young people, minorities, and moderate Democrats. 5APCA’s Zack Perconti urges members to participate in the association’s Muster grassroots campaigns because “the flow of bad ideas from the Biden administration is not stopping anytime soon.” 6Sarah Magruder Lyle, Common Ground Alliance, explains CGA’s new “50 in 5” industry challenge, aimed at reducing damages to critical underground utilities by 50 percent in five years. 6 Island music and a beautiful ballroom greeted members at the Dinner & Opening Session. 5 The idea behind the Government Relations Panel is to encourage discussion of the issues among APCA members, and this year’s panel certainly sparked many conversations immediately after the session.
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 24 6Aggressive and generous bidding, like from Chris Jones, HardRock Infrastructure Services, shown here, helped APCA raise some $330,000 for Natural Allies for a Clean Energy Future. 3 Chip Edwards, Allan Edwards Co. (left) wonders if he’ll have to break up Perry Redman and Kendrick Edwards, both from Caterpillar Global Pipeline, as they battle for a final bid at the close of the Silent Auction. 5After the competitors chose heads or tails, APCA’s Tim Wagner tosses a coin to determine the big winner. Spoiler Alert: it was Marcus Cook, Prime Inspection! 6Everybody in the pool! A gorgeous Bahamas afternoon for the Swim-up Bar & Pool Day. 4Nick Kubala, Navigator CO2 Ventures, discusses the Heartland Greenway carbon capture, utilization, and storage project in Central Illinois, which recently added 42 miles of proposed pipeline. 3Auctioneer Gary Seybold, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, entertains the APCA crowd while also working through a complicated and raucous Live Auction with great aplomb.
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 25 3 The Associates Exhibit combines a tasty breakfast and much-needed coffee with plenty of good conversations, like this one between Diane & Scott Coppersmith, Mears Group, and Chip Black, Apache Industrial Services. 34 Fact about the Recent Developments in Employment Law session at every APCA meeting: When Greg Guidry, Ogletree Deakins, speaks, APCA members listen. 4David Dacus, Troy Construction, talks pipeline protection with Rocky Seils from PipeSak Incorporated. 5 A little coffee and insurance talk for Brian Tanner, EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants, and Russell Driver, Driver Pipeline Co., at the Associates Exhibit & Breakfast. 5 Nick Bertram, Jomax Construction Co., and Darren Miller, HSI Services/Aqua Barrier, discuss water control challenges during the Annual Associates Exhibit & Breakfast. 6Enjoying the Silent Auction are Cheryl Weatherford, Jane Guidry, and David & Debbie Dacus. 4Ricky Dyess, M.G. Dyess, LLC, gets the lowdown on mechanized welding from Christian Loeffler, Serimax North America.
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 26 56APCA members delight in a gorgeous day of sailing, snorkeling, and exploring among the lush reefs off the coast of the Bahamas. 4APCA members enjoy perfect weather and a picturesque course at Baha Mar’s Royal Blue Golf Club. 4Ryan Walker (in the cart), PSS Industrial Group, and Taylor Dacus, Troy Construction, show their faith in Kevin LaBauve’s (WHC Energy Services) approach shot. 6Bryant Harvey, Viking Mat Company, belts one off the tee during the APCA Golf Tournament. 4Perfect form as Casey Colbey, Troy Construction, blasts a shot from the fairway. 4Hunter Dyess, M.G. Dyess, LLC, and Derek Birdwell, Kirby-Smith Machinery, are set to roll out for the APCA Golf Tournament.
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 27 4 At the Final Party, Patricia & Perry Redman, Caterpillar Global Pipeline, dance into retirement. Everyone at APCA wishes them well! 3Outgoing APCA President Taylor Dacus congratulates the association’s new President Roy Weaver at the Final Party. 5Taylor Dacus accepts the 2023 APCA Distinguished Service Award from Tim Wagner, APCA. 32023 APCA Hall of Fame inductee David Dacus is Chairman of Troy Construction and a proven leader in the pipeline industry. 3Upon entering the APCA Hall of Fame, Shell Sanford, Sunbelt Tractor & Equipment Co., said, “The pipeline industry is changing every day. I’m in my 4th quarter, but I see the next generation of leaders in this industry, and I see a bright future.” 3 APCA Hall of Famer Jimmy Montgomery took over the management of Montgomery Trucking in 1973, and the company has been an active member of the association ever since. 6A beautiful Bahamian morning for the Annual Spouse Breakfast.
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 28 Gold Sponsors Thank You APCA Sponsors Platinum Sponsor
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 29 Bronze Sponsors Silver Sponsors Event Sponsor
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 30 NEWS BRIEFS Employee Rights Act Essential to Protecting Workers’ Rights, Choices, and Freedoms Rep. Rick W. Allen (R-Ga.) and Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) introduced the Employee Rights Act of 2023 in April, which seeks to modernize our nation’s labor policies to match the needs of the 21st century worker and workforce. This legislation represents the Republican vision for the future of the American workforce: promoting growth and innovation, ensuring that our laws protect workers rather than union bosses, and allowing Americans to take home more of the money they earn. “The modern American worker wants flexibility and choice. Unfortunately, the overreaching Biden administration and Washington Democrats would rather force their radical labor agenda on the American people,” Allen said. “The Employee Rights Act fights back against this overreach and instead protects workers’ rights and privacy as well as empowers entrepreneurs and independent contractors. It is long past time that our labor laws stand with the 21st century worker, and I am proud to lead this effort in the House of Representatives.” “While the Biden administration and Washington Democrats continue to bend to the demands of big labor unions and special interest groups, Republicans remain focused on finding forward-thinking solutions that give our workforce and small business owners stability and flexibility,” Scott said. “We should always resolve to empower and encourage Americans with the ability to provide for their families. I’m grateful to my colleagues for joining me in the fight to protect workers.” CDW White Paper Shows Dangers of Employers Agreeing to Neutrality and Card Check Agreements On May 22, the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace published a white paper, How Neutrality and Card Check Agreements Harm the American Worker, proving that when employers enter into neutrality and card check agreements with unions attempting to organize their workplaces, employees are denied access to critical information they need to make a fully informed decision about unionization as well as their right to a secret ballot election free of coercion and intimidation. “Neutrality and card check agreements are designed to prevent employees from exercising their right to make a meaningful choice about representation,” CDW Chair Kristen Swearingen said. “Neutrality agreements silence employers and allow unions to misrepresent the facts and even suppress vital information. This leaves workers without a true understanding of who the union is, how their life will be impacted by unionization, and the actual changes unions can achieve. Employers play a critical role in filling this information gap, but neutrality agreements ensure workers will be left without the full picture before voting on union representation. “Card check agreements expose workers to coercion, intimidation, and deception. They prevent workers from voting for union representation through an NLRB-supervised, secret ballot election, forcing workers to make their decision in front of union organizers and colleagues. Union intimidation of employees to sign cards is well-documented, and that history should not and cannot be ignored. “These agreements decimate workers’ rights and should not be applauded or encouraged. Employers who care about their employees’ best interests shouldn’t agree to neutrality or card check agreements but instead should insist on protecting workers’ rights to a full and open debate and secret ballot elections.” See the white paper at myprivateballot.com/wp-content/ uploads/2023/05/CDW-White-Paper_ Neutrality-and-Card-Check-Agreements_ May-2023-FINAL.pdf. 7
PIPELINE CONTRACTORS JOURNAL | 2nd Quarter 2023 31 News Briefs continued on page 32 Pipelayers Flat Bed Tractors Padding Machines Bending Machines Excavators Trenchers Dozers For Rentals And Supplies Visit CrossCountryIS.com Or Call 1-855-955-CCIS (2247) SUPPLIES INCLUDE: Abrasive & Cutting Tools > Environmental > Safety Products > Valves, Fasteners & Fittings > Lifting & Rigging > Pigging Products > Pipe Testing Equipment > and Much More EQUIPMENT RENTALS INCLUDE: Motor Graders The Employee Rights Act, which has been introduced in varying versions since 2011, advocates for concrete worker policies and strikes a contrast with the PRO Act by including the following provisions: • Guarantees secret ballot union elections, • Protects members’ dues from being used for political purposes without their permission, • Safeguards employees’ personal information and data, • Codifies and protects the independent contractor and franchise models, and • Protects tribal labor sovereignty. “In the face of an increasingly hostile regulatory environment for small businesses, the ERA is critical legislation that provides much-needed protection and clarity for our nation’s job creators and workforce,” Kristen Swearingen, Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, said. “It is essential that Congress acts to strengthen the rights, flexibility and privacy protections of workers, as laid out in the ERA, because the Biden administration—through the National Labor Relations Board and U.S. Department of Labor—is seeking to implement provisions of the PRO Act through regulatory action.” 7 DOE Announces $60 Million to Advance Clean Hydrogen and Improve the Power Grid On May 22, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced nearly $42 million in funding for 22 projects in 14 states to advance critical technologies for producing, storing, and deploying clean hydrogen. DOE also announced $17.8 million to establish a new North American university research consortium that will help states and tribal communities implement grid resilience programs and achieve decarbonization goals. Clean hydrogen, which is produced with zero or next-to-zero carbon emissions, can leverage all our nation’s clean