The Keystone XL Pipeline will not be subject to President Donald Trump's executive order requiring infrastructure projects to be built with American steel, a White House spokeswoman said today.Trump signed the order calling for the Commerce Department to develop a plan for U.S. steel to be used in "all new pipelines, as well as retrofitted, repaired or expanded pipelines" inside the U.S. projects "to the maximum extent possible."By the White House's judgment, that description would not include Keystone XL, which developer TransCanada first proposed in 2008.
In his address to Congress this week, Donald Trump received applause when he said, "We have cleared the way for the construction of the Keystone and Dakota Access pipelines, thereby creating tens of thousands of jobs, and I've issued a new directive that new American pipelines be made with American steel."The job-creation claims were misleading in important ways. The Keystone XL pipeline, for example, would create thousands of temporary jobs, but independent estimates have found the project would actually create 35 to 55 permanent, full-time American jobs. A State Department analysis compared the project's employment prospects as being roughly comparable to opening a Denny's franchise.And as it turns out, the president's rhetoric about American steel came with deceptive fine print, too. Politico reported last night:
Apparently, according to the White House, when Trump referred to a "new directive that new American pipelines be made with American steel," immediately after referencing the Keystone pipeline, he wasn't making a connection. Keystone, according to the administration, doesn't really count as "new," so American steel is optional.If you take the president's rhetoric at face value -- on any subject -- you're likely to be disappointed when reality raises its head.