American Iron and Steel Institute Reacts to New Developments on Climate and Energy Policy

Washington, D.C., 3/31/2010 - The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) issued the following statement today by AISI President and CEO Thomas J. Gibson on new developments regarding climate and energy policy.

New Steels Will Help Automakers Achieve Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions

“The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the development of tough tailpipe emission rules is very practical and builds on a history of Corporate Average Fuel Economy rules to which automakers and their suppliers have adapted.  For example, advanced high strength steels (AHSS), developed by the steel industry in response to demand for safe, lightweight vehicles, are the fastest growing material in vehicle structures.  AHSS now regularly replace conventional steels with a 25% weight savings and the corresponding reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.”

EPA Extension of GHG Emissions Regulation to Stationary Sources is Unnecessary and Unwise

“Unfortunately, EPA’s decision to extend regulation of tailpipe emissions to stationary sources in January, 2011, shows none of the aforementioned practicality and will in fact, harm our economy.
A short delay until January is of little or no value to the industry because of the lead-time and large capital investment involved in developing new manufacturing facilities.  Of particular concern is the fact permits already in progress will need to be reconsidered which is tantamount to immediate regulation, in effect, shutting down plans for the very investment in new plants and equipment that is so desperately needed to help jumpstart America’s fragile economic recovery.    It flies in the face of the Administration’s goals of economic recovery, job creation and developing America’s green energy infrastructure.   The regulatory uncertainties created by EPA’s interpretation of the “Johnson Memo” (Reconsideration of Interpretation of Regulations that Determine Pollutants Covered by Clean Air Act Permitting Programs) will put a damper on the very innovation that drives economic recovery.”

“The Clean Air Act is absolutely the wrong vehicle for addressing the global climate issue.  It amounts to unilateral U.S. assumption of the cost to fix a global problem that requires global action.  Without the international reach that can only be provided by legislation, EPA regulation of greenhouse gases from stationary sources will only transfer emissions – and critical manufacturing jobs – overseas.   This will accelerate the departure of American companies, cause more workers to suffer job-losses and shrink the prospects of those currently unemployed finding jobs so they can return to the workforce. 

Members of Congress, not EPA, need to be in charge of this complex policy question.  We are in accord with the group of eight Senators from manufacturing states who, in a February 19 letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, said this approach to emission reduction raises “serious economic and energy security concerns” for our nation.

We urge Congress to help bring a halt to EPA’s ill-advised attempt to use the Clean Air Act to regulate stationary sources, and instead, consider a legislative approach that reduces emissions while ensuring international competitiveness for domestic industries.”

Off Shore Drilling – A Step in the Right Direction upon Which We Can Expand

“AISI commends the President regarding his announcement to expand offshore oil and gas exploration in Federal waters in the mid and south Atlantic regions and the Gulf of Mexico.  This is a much-needed step in the right direction that the steel industry has been strongly advocating in order to create a green, abundant and affordable energy supply.  Further expansion into other areas in our federal waters, guided not by local political considerations, but by scientific evidence, will be required to reduce our dependence on foreign suppliers, more fully develop our domestic energy supply and assure our nation’s energy security.”

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice.  AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology.  AISI is comprised of 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 138 associate and affiliate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry.  AISI's member companies represent approximately 75 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity.  For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s Web site at www.steel.org.

Contact:
Nancy Gravatt
Vice President, Communications
American Iron and Steel Institute
Tel: 202.452.7115