AISI comments on executive actions to revise power plant rules


NEW YORK (Scrap Register): The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) said executive action taken by the president today will begin the process of revising and overturning several onerous environmental regulations designed in the previous administration that could adversely impact the competitiveness of domestic steelmakers.

Included in today’s White House Executive Order are directions for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to review and revise regulations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity generating utilities.

Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of AISI, said, “The domestic steel industry has made substantial gains in reducing our energy usage as well as our environmental footprint, and we remain committed to our sustainable performance. However, these burdensome regulations could harm the international competitiveness of energy-intensive, trade-exposed U.S. industries like steel.” Gibson noted that his association has consistently opposed these regulations.

“The leading states for iron and steel production in the U.S. are heavily dependent on coal for electricity production and, therefore, so is our industry. EPA regulations that disproportionately impact coal-generated electricity have put the affordability and reliability of electricity for steel producers at risk, and we are pleased that the Administration is taking another look at their impact for domestic manufacturers,” he said.

Gibson also noted the original regulations did not address the concern that 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, many of which benefit from subsidized energy costs,” Gibson concluded.

AISI has joined other leading business associations in filing court challenges on both of these regulations, which the executive orders addressed today. In addition, in its Public Policy Agenda for 2017, AISI urged the Administration to request the courts remand the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and the New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) for utility GHG emissions to the EPA so that the agency could review and substantially revise these rules to ensure they do not undermine the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.

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