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Nolan Bill Requires 'Buy American Steel' in Pipeline Projects

Updated: 04/24/2014 10:39 PM
Created: 04/24/2014 4:49 PM WDIO.com

Citing thousands of lost jobs due to illegal dumping of foreign steel into U.S. markets, and continued environmental threats from unsafe pipelines built with foreign steel, U.S Rep. Rick Nolan announced introduction of The American Pipeline Jobs & Safety Act of 2014.

It would require that virtually all energy pipelines built and federally permitted in the United States contain 100 percent American steel - made with 100 percent American iron ore. Nolan made the announcement at a press conference, surrounded by Steelworkers at United Steelworkers District 11 headquarters in Eveleth, MN.

The bill marks the first time American "iron ore and taconite" workers and mines are included in the federal "Buy American" steel provisions. And the first time private transactions are subject to American preference laws. Because pipeline construction relies on eminent domain, and because they lie under U.S. schools, homes and communities, as well as under U.S. farms, rivers, and wetland areas, Nolan said the public has a right to insist that higher public safety standards be required.

Steelworkers who stood with Nolan said they support this action. "This is a good first step. Our taxes are going towards this, why shouldn't this support taxpayers who are building this country?" asked John Rebrovich, Asst. Director of District 11, USW.

Nolan's bill has been jointly referred to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, of which he is a member, and to the Energy and Commerce Committee. Action would likely come during reauthorization of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, required by September 30, 2015.

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