No US Steel in Keystone, Dakota Access Pipelines

Despite President Trump’s repeated assertions to the contrary, the remaining portions of the Keystone XL pipeline and the Dakota Access pipeline won’t be built using U.S. steel.

In President Trump’s early days in office, he signed multiple executive orders signaling his approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects to be completed. Trump also signed an executive order on that same day, Jan. 24, 2017 instructing the Secretary of Commerce to develop a plan in which “all new pipelines as well as retrofitted, repaired, or expanded pipelines within the border of the United States, including portions of pipelines, use materials and equipment produced in the United States.”

However, on Friday, March 3, 2017, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that the Keystone XL pipeline will not need to be built using steel made in the United States, explaining that the president’s January 2017 executive order applies to new pipelines being built rather than those already under construction. Sanders stated:

“Since this one is already currently under construction, the steel is already literally sitting there, it’s hard to go back. Everything moving forward would fall under that executive order.”

Following that same logic, the remaining portion of the Dakota Access Pipeline will not be required to use steel from the United States, since it is also not a new pipeline.

As it turns out, steel companies in the United States would currently have a difficult time meeting the standards set for oil and gas pipelines, meaning that even if the Keystone XL pipeline project required the use of American-made steel for its remaining construction, there would be little benefit to American companies or their workers because the steel for the pipe would need to be made outside the U.S.

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