118 119 network and manifold work.Also, about half our revenue is working on existing oil and gas pipeline systems, doing maintenance and integrity work.” UPI,which is headquartered in Duluth,Minnesota, has locations in Morris, Illinois,Mt. Pleasant,Mich- igan, and Claysville, Pennsylvania.Today, the com- pany has 60 full-time employees in Duluth, but its workforce can grow to 800 employees, depending on the number and extent of ongoing projects. In 2009,UPI became a subsidiary of APi Group Inc., a multi-billion-dollar parent company to more than 40 independentlymanaged, energy, specialty con- struction, and infrastructure companies located in over 200 locations worldwide. The acquisition has allowed UPI to increase its service offerings, as well as its client diversity.Olsen reports,“In the last two or three years,we’ve added a cathodic protection division (cathodic protection is a technique used to control the corrosion of a metal surface bymaking it the cathode of an elec- trochemical cell).And we’ve added maxi-horizontal directional drilling capabilities–that’s something that we’re activelymarketing and getting the word out there.We also have a variety of other special- ty services, including lube oil flushing, hydro-vac excavation trucks, and a large fleet of swamp and UNITED PIPING INC. marshland access equipment, including marsh ex- cavators,marsh dump trucks, and marsh hydro-vac vehicles.” However, according to Olsen, another new addi- tion to the sector in which UPI operates is decidedly less welcome. For decades, the pipeline industry has worked largely unnoticed, quietlymoving from project to project. But those days are gone now, as oil and gas pipelines have become visible symbols in the contentious battle over the continued use of fossil fuels as a major source of energy.“We’re involved politically, now, as we never have been