The United Steelworkers is challenging the pending federal permit in the controversial $5.4 billion TransCanada Keystone Pipeline that’s using under-standard thin-wall pipe for transport of crude oil from Alberta, Canada to Houston, Texas.
USW International Vice President Tom Conway transmitted a formal complaint to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on Apr. 6, urging the special permit requested by TransCanada be denied. He said the 2,000 mile pipeline is planned using a 36-inch thin-wall pipe at higher maximum operation pressure than is safely permitted under existing regulations. Click here to read the entire letter.
“Our members work hard to produce quality steel and large diameter crude oil transmission pipe right here in the U.S. that meets all safety requirements,” Conway said. He adds that the USW-represented steel and pipe production workers “do not want to be denied the opportunity to provide that quality pipe based on a waiver of a fundamental safety regulation promulgated under the normal rulemaking procedures.”
The use of pipe imports from India called attention to the issue when 1,000 steelworkers on lay-off at the nearby US Steel Granite City mill joined an Apr. 7 demonstration that raised questions about foreign pipe being used for a separate TransCanada pipeline with a terminus to the Conoco-Phillips refinery in Wood River, Il. The Granite City steelworkers produce flat-roll products for domestic pipe makers. Click here for USW coverage of the recent rally.
About 2,000 steelworkers at USS Granite City have been out-of-work since December, and several thousand pipe workers are also on long-term layoffs at pipe mills all across the country.