Steel Institute Comments on EPA Power Plant Proposal, Says Additional Regulations Impede Economic Growth for Steel Companies

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For Immediate Release
June 2, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) said power plant regulations announced by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy this morning "could severely harm the international competitiveness of energy-intensive, trade-exposed U.S. industries like steel" and that "additional regulation of the electric utility sector will result in increased electricity costs for industrial consumers, who ultimately have the compliance costs and risks passed on to them."

Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and CEO said, "Energy – in particular electricity – is one of the most significant cost drivers for the production of steel. The availability of supplies of these energy sources is essential to our industry’s international competitiveness. This proposal may adversely impact the affordability and reliability of electricity supply to major industrial consumers, which will harm workers, jobs and further impede the post-recession growth of American manufacturing."

Today’s proposal from EPA details draft guidelines for states to craft plans to obtain substantial reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power plants. A final version of the regulation is expected next year, while states will have until June of 2016 to submit initial individual implementation plans for GHG reductions.

Gibson added that, "The EPA proposal doesn’t go after the root issue, which is that efforts to address climate change can only be effective when undertaken on a global basis. When CO2 regulations are instituted in the United States, limitations must apply at the same level of stringency to other major steel producing nations, such as China. Otherwise, steel production and manufacturing jobs will shift to other nations with higher rates of GHG emissions."

He noted that the domestic steel industry, in order to reduce costs and enhance international competitiveness, has is already reduced its energy intensity by 28 percent since 1990, while reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 35 percent over the same time period.

Gibson highlighted the essential interconnectedness of the steel industry and electricity produced from coal, "The leading states in terms of iron and steel production in the U.S. are heavily dependent on coal for electricity production, and therefore, so is our industry. A regulation from EPA that will disproportionately impact coal-generated electricity will have a detrimental effect on steelmaking."

Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 / lharrison@steel.org

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From the EPA Website: Clean Power Plan Proposed Rule

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 22 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI's member companies represent over three quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI's website at www.steel.org.