Media Outlets Push False Narrative About Trump’s Pipeline Executive Orders

Media outlets are falsely suggesting President Donald Trump’s executive orders approving the Keystone XL Pipeline also included directives mandating pipeline developers use American steel to complete projects.

Politico and the Los Angeles Times reported Friday on the White House’s recent decision to allow Keystone to complete its project without adhering to Trump’s request that future pipe be made with American steel. The outlets also appear to suggest the president’s requests were directives, not requests.

“The requirement to use domestic steel posed a potential conflict between the administration’s populist agenda and it’s pro-business stance,” the LA Times wrote Friday, breaking the news. “Apparently, business won.”

The paper made no mention of the specifics behind the president’s executive order, namely that it calls 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.

The White House said Friday that Keystone would be exempt from any pledges requiring companies do their level-best to make sure pipeline material came from the U.S.

“Well the way that executive order is written … it’s specific to new pipelines or those that are being repaired,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters. “And since this one is already currently under construction, the steel is already literally sitting there, it would be hard to go back.”

The company developing the project, TransCanda, has already purchased all the steel necessary to complete the job, so roping it in with Trump’s requests would be nearly impossible.

The president, meanwhile, has repeatedly asserted since approving Keystone that energy companies “have to” use U.S. steel if they intend on constructing any new projects. The LA Times and Politico might be conflating the orders with Trump’s puffed-up language.

Politico, for its part, managed to highlight the latter clause in Trump’s executive order, but it too wrapped its reporting around the idea that business realities squelched the president’s supposed directive.

“The Keystone XL Pipeline will not be subject to President Donald Trump’s executive order requiring infrastructure projects to be built with American steel,” the online outlet wrote in its report on the White House’s clarification.

Neither the LA Times nor Politico have responded to requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.

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