Steel Institute Says EPA Power Plant Rules Will Raise Cost of Electricity

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For Immediate Release
August 3, 2015

Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 / lharrison@steel.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The White House today announced final Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations requiring existing electricity generating utilities to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 32 percent in the next 15 years, and effectively mandate that new coal-burning power plants use unviable carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) expressed strong concerns about the regulations, saying they will raise electricity costs for domestic steel companies and threaten the industry’s ability to remain internationally competitive.

“This rule puts the affordability and reliability of electricity for steel producers at serious risk,” said Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI. “The leading steel producing states in the U.S. are heavily dependent on coal for electricity production. This rule will have a disproportionate impact on coal-fired utilities and, in turn, impede economic growth for steelmakers.”

Gibson added that the steel industry competes with steel producers in countries where energy costs are often subsidized. He said, therefore, “Limitations on CO2 emissions instituted in the U.S. must also 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 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”

AISI and sixteen other pro-manufacturing groups submitted joint comments to the EPA in December stating that these regulations could severely harm the international competitiveness of critical U.S. industries.

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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 19 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and approximately 125 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI's website at www.steel.org. Follow AISI on Facebook or Twitter (@AISISteel).