Steel Industry Disappointed With EPA's Response to Senators' Concerns

Agency fails to recognize potential economic damage with regulatory mandates

Washington, D.C.– The American Iron and Steel Institute issued the following statement regarding a letter the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson sent Feb. 22 in response to concerns raised by eight senators regarding the EPA’s plan to regulate Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act.  The Senators who signed the letter are: Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Max Baucus (D-Montana).

“The response from Administrator Jackson to the recent letter from eight Senators about the potential regulation of greenhouse gases from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act (CAA) is inadequate and leaves many important questions unresolved.  A temporary delay in regulation for some sources, as EPA has proposed, does not provide the certainty that businesses need.  Congress needs to step in now to prevent EPA from moving forward on its misguided plan to regulate GHGs from stationary sources under the Clean Air Act.

EPA regulation of GHGs under the CAA cannot address the resulting negative competitiveness impacts to energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries, such as the steel industry.  Without addressing international competitiveness challenges, EPA regulation of stationary sources under the Clean Air Act will come at just the wrong time as we work to grow our industry and continue to recover from the economic recession.  We have already lost 11.7 million manufacturing jobs over the last decade, 2.1 million alone since the start of the recession.  We cannot afford to lose more.

The American steel industry is the most energy efficient and least greenhouse gas intensive steel making industry in the world.  Unilateral EPA regulation of stationary sources will inevitably hand our unregulated – and, in the case of China, state-subsidized – competitors a further advantage that will destroy jobs here.

The Senators correctly captured the concerns of many energy-intensive manufacturers in their letter, and fully understand the potential impact of EPA regulatory action.  Simply put, regulation of GHGs under the CAA is the wrong approach to addressing climate change.  Without an international agreement on GHG emissions reductions, EPA regulation of greenhouse gases will only transfer emissions – and critical manufacturing jobs – overseas.

We call on Congress to stop EPA and instead consider a legislative approach that reduces emissions while ensuring international competitiveness for domestic industries.”

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.