UNITED STATES August 05 2015 9:35 AM
NEW YORK (Scrap Register): 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.