Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Nolan Applauds Trump’s Support for American-made Pipelines, Reintroduces American Pipeline Jobs & Safety Act

Jan 24, 2017
Press Release

Applauding President Trump’s announcement of his support for the use of exclusively American-made pipelines, U.S. Rep Rick Nolan today reintroduced his American Pipeline Jobs & Safety Act. Nolan’s bill would require that virtually all energy pipelines built and federally permitted in the United States contain 100 percent American steel – and iron ore that is mined, processed or reprocessed in America.

Following Nolan’s letter in December 2016 urging then President-elect Trump to join him in his unequivocal support of the use of exclusively American-made products in all U.S. infrastructure projects, particularly the construction of pipelines, President Trump today stated that "if we are going to build pipelines in the (US), the pipes should be built in the United States. We will build our own pipes," according to White House reporters.

“I applaud President Trump’s support for the requirements in my American Pipeline Jobs & Safety Act,” Nolan said. “Pipelines made with low-grade, foreign government subsidized iron ore and steel illegally dumped into the U.S. marketplace are costing us thousands of good jobs, threatening our environment with leaks and spills and jeopardizing our health and safety. When constructed with tough, top-quality American iron ore and steel, pipelines are the safest, most efficient way we transport oil and gas to meet our nation’s growing energy needs. We cannot rebuild America’s economy and infrastructure with foreign steel.”

“Steelworkers at Keetac and on the Iron Range are very supportive of Congressman Nolan’s efforts,” United Steelworkers Local 2660 President Cliff Tobey said. “Keetac produces taconite that is primarily used in the production of tubular goods, so we’re supportive of any efforts to produce pipelines with American steel. We applaud Congressman Nolan’s efforts on reintroduction of the American Pipeline Jobs & Safety Act and welcome President Trump’s support for American-made pipelines.”

Nolan’s bill requires the Secretary of Transportation and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration responsible for pipeline construction approval to improve minimum safety standards for steel pipe used in the United States. Those standards would mandate use of steel produced in the U.S. that originates from Iron ore and taconite mined and processed in America. Recycled steel would be permitted, provided it includes U.S. iron ore or taconite.  Waivers for foreign steel would be permitted only to the extent U.S. capacity is not adequate to meet demand in a given year. This legislation would mandate ‘Buy America’ requirements for not only federally funded projects, but also private projects that go through the federal permitting process – covering virtually all major pipelines.

The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has the regulatory authority to permit pipeline construction, but is severely hampered by inability to inspect foreign steel pipe manufacturing operations, or to independently verify engineering data to assure that all pipe laid within U.S. borders is truly safe. To help remedy that situation, the bill authorizes up to $10 million annually for the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to randomly pull and independently test pipeline from stockpiles to be used in the USA, rather than be forced to simply accept manufacturers’ safety documentation.