The company behind the contentious Keystone XL Pipeline will purchase an extra 200 miles of U.S.-made steel to complete the recently approved oil project.
“As a result, we require 200 miles of pipe for KXL” from U.S. manufacturers, TransCanada spokesman Terry Cunha told reporters Monday. He was referring to the Canadian company’s decision to shift steel pipe originally meant for the Keystone to another project after the Obama administration rejected it in 2015.
TransCanada had originally planned to use U.S. steel to build 50 percent of the Keystone. The additional steel pipe will up that percentage, Cunha said.
The Department of State granted the company permission on March 23 to “construct, connect, operate, and maintain pipeline facilities at the U.S.-Canadian border in Phillips County, Montana for the importation of crude oil.”
President Donald Trump signed a pair of executive orders in February approving both Keystone and the Dakota Access Pipeline, a multi-state project moving Bakken oil from the Dakotas to Illinois. The administration exempted Keystone from pledges requiring companies to do their level-best to use American steel to build pipelines.
“Well the way that executive order is written … it’s specific to new pipelines or those that are being repaired,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. “And since this one is already currently under construction, the steel is already literally sitting there, it would be hard to go back.”
Trump’s pipeline orders have generated a slew of criticisms from conservative groups as well. Free market policy analysts, for instance, have blasted the idea, suggesting pipelines are private investments that should not be directed by the federal government.
Various media outlets have continually suggested the president’s orders also included directives mandating pipeline developers use American steel to complete projects.
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