Casey Calls on TransCanada to Use American Made Steel On Keystone Pipeline Project

Yesterday, TransCanada Announced it Was Moving Forward With $2.3B Segment of Keystone XL Pipeline

TransCanada Has Not Committed to Using American Products on Project; Has History of Using Steel from India

In Letter, Casey Says Potential Economic Benefits from Keystone Pipeline Should Benefit U.S. Workers – Not Workers in India

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on TransCanada to use American made steel on the Keystone Pipeline project. Yesterday, the company announced that it would move forward with a $2.3 billion segment of the Keystone XL pipeline project, and today Senator Casey is calling on the company to abandon its practice of buying steel from India and instead use American made steel.

“In the past, TransCanada has chosen to buy their steel from India. When it comes to the Keystone Pipeline, the steel should be stamped with ‘made in America,” Senator Casey said. “Building a portion of the Keystone Pipeline has the potential to have huge economic benefits for the country, but we won’t see the full economic impact from this project if the steel used to build the pipeline is made outside of the U.S.”

Yesterday, TransCanada announced that it would proceed with a $2.3 billion segment of the Keystone XL Pipeline project from Oklahoma to Texas. The pipeline will carry oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to the U.S. Gulf Coast- a process that could begin as early as 2013.

TransCanada has a history of using foreign steel for its projects. In 2009, the company purchased steel from India to complete a project. The company’s decision resulted in layoffs for 2,000 U.S. steelworkers.

In his letter, Senator Casey wrote, “I cannot stress enough the importance of using American goods and labor in the development of any pipeline project.  Job creation is one of the key arguments used in favor of the project yet there have been no assurances that such opportunities will benefit Americans.”

When a project uses American-made steel it has the potential to provide a boost to Pennsylvania. In 2010, the steel industry was responsible for 80,000 jobs in the state and added nearly $10 billion to the state’s economy.

The full text of Senator Casey’s letter to TransCanada President and CEO Russell K. Girling can be seen below:

February 28, 2012

Mr. Russell K. Girling

President and CEO

TransCanada Corporation

Dear Mr. Girling:

As you move forward with the Keystone XL Pipeline, I ask that you commit to using American steel and workers in the project. 

Estimates show that development of the pipeline could create 20,000 jobs in the construction and manufacturing sectors.  According to the Commerce Department every manufacturing job generates $2.26 of economic activity in other sectors, while a construction job adds $2.08.  The economic opportunities offered by a project of this scale must go to American companies, particularly if taxpayer dollars are leveraged to develop it. 

In recent years, we have seen major domestic infrastructure projects fail to use American goods.  Chinese companies are benefitting from the refurbishing of the Bay Bridge in San Francisco and the renovation of the New York City subway system to name a few.  I have expressed serious concerns about the quality and safety of these goods and will do so again in the context of the pipeline. 

I cannot stress enough the importance of using American goods and labor in the development of any pipeline project.  Job creation is one of the key arguments used in favor of the project yet there have been no assurances that such opportunities will benefit Americans.  I ask you to make such a commitment.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator   

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