https://www.transportation.gov/fastlane/enbridge-updateIn a Presidential Memorandum issued January 24, 2017, President Trump directed the Secretary of Commerce to develop a plan within 180 days to require that pipelines in the United States use materials and equipment produced in the United States “to the maximum extent possible and to the extent permitted by law.” The plan will extend to newly constructed pipelines as well as to those that are “retrofitted, repaired and expanded . . . inside the borders of the United States.”

With respect to iron or steel products, the Memorandum makes it clear that all stages of the manufacturing process must occur in the United States. The Memorandum states:

“Produced in the United States” shall mean:

(i)        With regard to iron or steel products, that all manufacturing processes for such iron or steel products, from the initial melting stage through the application of coatings, occurred in the United States.

(ii)       Steel or iron material or products manufactured abroad from semi-finished steel or iron from the United States are not “produced in the United States” for purposes of this memorandum.

(iii)      Steel or iron material or products manufactured in the United States from semi-finished steel or iron of foreign origin are not “produced in the United States” for purposes of this memorandum.

The notions that iron and steel products must be manufactured in the United States and that all of the manufacturing processes must occur in the United States are not new. Substantially similar requirements are used in the “Buy America” provision of the Surface Transportation Assistance Act of 1982. See 49 U.S.C. § 5323(j)The Federal Transit Administration and the Federal Highway Administration have used this approach for state and local highway and transit projects funded wholly or partially with federal funds. See, e.g., 49 C.F.R. § 661.5. Continue Reading President Trump mandates “Buy American” for construction of US pipelines

By Hal Perloff

Energy is a national security issue. The U.S. defense industry represents one of the world’s largest markets for energy, and the cost and availability of energy directly affects military capabilities and readiness. Department of Defense leaders are revamping how DOD uses energy and determining which fuels offer the best overall investment, prices, and logistical advantages with the fewest environmental problems. Moreover, the military provides an attractive test-bed for commercialization of emerging technologies on a ‘demand-pull’ basis as well as an important market for fossil fuels, renewable energy and biofuels, energy services, energy efficiency, and demand response. A secure and sustainable energy system must be viewed from a national defense standpoint. What are the risks and rewards for moving the military toward an environmentally as well as economically sustainable energy system?

This year’s J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Conference is entitled “Laying the Foundation for Sustainable Energy Future: Legal and Policy Challenges” and will present a panel on Sustainable Energy and the National Defense. The panel will be chaired by former Chief of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, retired Lieutenant General Robert Flowers, and includes as panelists:

  • Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy & Environment)
  • General Paul Kern, Chairman, CAN Military Advisory Board, U.S. Army (Ret.)
  • Christopher Yukins, Co-Director of George Washington University Law School’s Government Procurement Law Program
  • Matthew Carr, Managing Director, Industrial & Environmental Section, Biotechnology Industry Organization
  • Hal Perloff, Partner, Husch Blackwell, LLP

This timely and insightful conference is co-sponsored by the George Washington University Law School, Husch Blackwell LLP, the Environmental Law Institute, and the Constellation Energy Foundation and will be held on April 10 & 11, 2013 at the Jacob Burns Moot Court Room on GW’s campus.

President Obama’s proposed jobs bill could have a substantial impact on a construction industry that continues to weaken as Recovery Act funding dries up. The bill offers $447 billion in federal funding, much of which is devoted to infrastructure spending in the education, transportation, and housing industries. It would further delay the 3% withholding tax on government contractors and establish a national infrastructure bank to facilitate long-term investment in infrastructure projects. It also carries some restrictions. Although it is far from clear that the bill will make it through Congress, some of its provisions bear further consideration.

Continue Reading Getting past the politics of the American Jobs Act of 2011

Title 41 of the U.S. Code holds many of the key laws governing contracts with the federal government. A four-year effort to organize this collection of public contract laws and remove “ambiguities, contradictions, and other imperfections” was completed on January 4, 2011. The President’s signature on Public Law No. 111-350, 124 Stat. 367 (Jan. 4, 2011) [pdf] has the effect of renumbering the entirety of Title 41 and giving new section numbers to many of the most important government contract laws.

Continue Reading What happened to the Contract Disputes Act?

The False Claims Act encourages individuals with knowledge of fraud against the Government to file a court action seeking damages for the fraud.  It does this by promising a bounty. The relator receives a percentage of the amount recovered in a false claims case.  But there is a constant tension between encouraging plaintiffs to bring cases alleging fraud and protecting defendants from frivolous cases. The January 11, 2011 decision in United States ex rel. Folliard v. Hewlett-Packard Co. illustrates how the requirement that a plaintiff include all of the details of an alleged fraud in the initial complaint helps strike this balance.

Continue Reading Hewlett-Packard and the need for “particularity” in qui tam cases