New Issue: Ban Use of Cheap/Imported Steel Pipes in PA Marcellus?

A new issue comes to light–for us anyway. The chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, Robert F. Powelson, writes an editorial in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer that claims America’s steel industry–in particular PA’s steel industry–is suffering from cheap steel pipeline imports from places like South Korea. The pipeline imported is used in shale drilling, namely in gathering pipelines and perhaps larger transmission pipelines. A lot of pipeline is also used during the drilling process itself. Powelson says “oil country tubular goods” or OCTG pipeline is illegally “dumped” on the market–meaning it’s sold below the cost to manufacture it. And that cuts some of the economic benefits PA would otherwise realize if PA or OH steel plants created that pipe.

Powelson’s proposed fix? Amend the Pennsylvania Gas and Hazardous Liquids Pipeline Act (Act 127) and require companies to report to the PUC the country of manufacture of the steel pipe used to transport natural gas from unconventional wells in PA. Would that work?…

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