Despite a presidential executive order to the contrary, the Keystone XL Pipeline will not use American-made steel in its construction, Politico reported.
According to the White House, President Donald Trump's executive order requiring American steel to be used for pipeline projects will apply to new projects and to those under repair or retrofit to the extent possible. The Keystone project is exempt because it is already under construction. Additionally, developer TransCanada already acquired the steel for the project.
- Also at issue is a $15 billion trade complaint brought by TransCanada against the U.S. at the beginning of January for canceling the pipeline project in the first place. Now that the project is back on, the additional benefit of not having to use American steel could persuade the company to drop the suit in its entirety.
During his first days in office, Trump executed memoranda that breathed new life into the stalled Keystone project, as well as the Dakota Access Pipeline. The memoranda directed TransCanada to resubmit its pipeline application and instructed the secretary of the Army to "review and approve" the Dakota Access project. The pipeline protests that played a role in sidelining the projects, however, will most likely continue.
It should come as no surprise that TransCanada filed its complaint, given how much effort and expense goes into pipeline project approval. The environmental reviews are time-consuming, typically taking a few years to complete. During that process, developers are required to provide the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission not only with potential alternative routes for the pipeline but also the option for no pipeline at all.
FERC then decides on what it considers to be the best route, or it could reject the project altogether. For this reason, Mark Pyatt, global lead of oil and gas operational integrity at international software company SAP, said that several companies will pool resources and share a pipeline — and the burden of paperwork.