AGA’s McCurdy: A tariff on steel will increase the cost of certain pipelines and components

News Release March 01, 2018

Washington, D.C. – American Gas Association (AGA) President and CEO Dave McCurdy released the following statement today:

“American Gas Association (AGA) members operate a network of pipelines that is more than two million miles long and delivers clean natural gas in all fifty states. Safety is the top priority for America’s natural gas utilities. Our customers are our family, friends and neighbors and they rely on us to deliver natural gas safely and reliably. Our operations and ongoing maintenance of the natural gas delivery system can be severely impacted if the required materials are not readily available.

“There is no doubt that a tariff on steel will increase the cost of certain pipelines and components. Our industry has identified a number of specific challenges with obtaining some pipeline materials and equipment that are American made.

“There is a concerted effort by America's natural gas utilities to upgrade and modernize our nation's pipeline network to further enhance safety. Some pipelines, specifically low-pressure lines, can be replaced with plastic. Almost all of our nation’s natural gas plastic pipe is made in the U.S. Larger diameter, high-pressure pipelines that carry higher volumes of gas across longer distances, and their components, are typically made of steel. Additionally, many parts of our industry rely on steel valves that are not currently made in the United States.

“America’s natural gas utilities support the President’s goals of increasing American jobs and enhancing economic growth. We will continue to work with U.S. steel makers and pipeline manufacturers to maintain an adequate supply for our operational needs. We look forward to working with the Administration on ways to comply with this executive order while maintaining affordable energy for the more than 177 million citizens that enjoy the benefits of natural gas.”

The American Gas Association, founded in 1918, represents more than 200 local energy companies that deliver clean natural gas throughout the United States. There are more than 75 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in the U.S., of which 95 percent — more than 71 million customers — receive their gas from AGA members. Today, natural gas meets more than three-tenths of the United States' energy needs.