PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Keystone XL oil pipeline won’t have to use American steel in its construction, despite what President Donald Trump says.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday that’s due to language in a presidential directive Trump issued in January. The directive applies to new pipelines or those under repair. Sanders said it would be hard to do an about-face on Keystone because it’s already under construction and the steel has been acquired.
The order says states that new, expanded or repaired pipelines in the U.S. must use U.S. steel “to the maximum extent possible” and allowed by law. That’s not an all-USA mandate.
Trump said as recently as last week that Keystone and the Dakota Access pipeline must use American steel “or we’re not building one.”
TransCanada, the company building Keystone, has said the majority of steel in the pipeline would be from North America, which includes Canada and Mexico.
Trump used his executive powers shortly after taking office to revive the two pipeline projects that had been blocked by President Barack Obama.
The Keystone pipeline would run from Canada to refineries in the Gulf Coast. The Dakota Access line would move North Dakota oil to Illinois, and that project is nearly complete.