ASA thanks U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) for their introduction of S. 3631, the Metal Theft Prevention Act of 2012. Deterring metal theft, specifically copper, has been a key priority for the PHCP and PVF industry and ASA appreciates the senators’ leadership in this critical, yet under-addressed area of crime prevention.

“Copper theft is a pervasive, opportunistic crime which poses a risk to public safety, communication, transportation and construction sites, and is a target to the PHCP/PVF industry,” ASA Director of Government Affairs Dan Hilton said. 

With the price of copper pipe and tubing up more than 70% since 2005, theft has become a growing epidemic. Recently, the Department of Energy conservatively estimated the total value of damages from copper wire theft across impacted industries in the United States would be $900 million annually. This alone signifies the critical need to address this issue.

“When drafting this legislation, Sen. Klobuchar’s office sought ASA’s input to better learn how this issue impacted our industry,” said Dennis Goode of M. Cooper Supply in Mokena, Ill. “I was honored to share with the senator how important, yet overlooked this problem can be. Her leadership and experience in crime prevention is to be commended.”

If passed into law, the bill would: 
  • Make the theft of metal a federal offense;

  • Impose stricter documentation and recordkeeping requirements;

  • Put a limit of no more than $100 that can be paid out in cash; and

  • Make recommendations for federal sentencing guidelines.

Every state is impacted by metal theft, but not every state has enacted laws to reduce the threat. States that have enacted legislation simply put requirements on scrap yard dealers to document the transaction – but more needs to be done. Therefore, it is important Congress enact legislation to put an end to copper theft. ASA commends Sen. Klobuchar and Sen. Graham for their responsiveness to this matter. Please contact Dan Hilton at 703/328-5234 or at dhilton@asa.net for further details.

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