Steel Institute Joins Legal Challenge of EPA Power Plant Rule

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For Immediate Release
October 23, 2015

Contact: Lisa Harrison
202.452.7115 / lharrison@steel.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) today joined 15 other business associations in filing a court challenge on newly finalized Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations that require existing electricity generating utilities to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 32 percent in the next 15 years.

Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI, said, “This rule puts the affordability of electricity for steel producers at serious risk. The leading states for iron and steel production in the U.S. are heavily dependent on coal for electricity production. This rule will have a disproportionate impact on steel states and hinder economic growth for steel producers.

Gibson said that the new regulations could cause nationwide electricity prices to increase between six and seven percent. He said this electricity economic impact will be exacerbated for the steel industry due to the regional differences in current fuel mix and the cost to switch to other fuels for the generation of electricity. He also noted that utilities that serve the steel industry have raised concerns that the rule could also have negative impacts on reliability.

He added, “These new regulations put steel producers in the U.S. at a disadvantage against competitors in other nations that generally have higher rates of greenhouse gas emissions, and many of which benefit from subsidized energy costs. This would have a devastating impact on the steel industry and our workers.”

Gibson said the litigation focuses on the fact that the new rule exceeds the established bounds of EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and sweeps virtually all aspects of electricity production within EPA’s control. The court challenge also points out that new bureaucracies would be created as states and industries would have to overhaul the power sector, including passing new laws to ensure the permitting, construction, and funding of EPA’s preferred power sources and shutting down existing disfavored plants.

AISI and other associations last year submitted joint comments to the EPA indicating the new regulations could severely harm the international competitiveness of energy-intensive, trade-exposed 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).