On the eve of the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh, the American Iron and Steel Institute calls it "one of America's best kept secrets." That secret, according to AISI, is that the domestic steel industry is a leader in the U.S.'s "industrial renaissance."
Thomas Gibson, AISI's president and CEO, notes, "Steel productivity has more than tripled since the early 1980s leading the way among manufacturers, the industry has dramatically cut energy efficiency per ton of steel by 33% since 1990, and steel, the most recycled material on the planet, is the material that will help build America's green energy grid, its solar panels and its wind turbines as we continue to make the country stronger at home and abroad."
AISI claims the steel industry is the only significant industry in the United States to increase production while cutting energy consumption, and says that the more energy-efficient industry generates only 1-2% of the greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.
AISI also points out that it is sponsoring research that will greatly reduce CO2 emissions. One project underway at MIT produces iron by molten oxide electrolysis (MOE) and generates near zero CO2 emissions. A second project at the University of Utah - "Ironmaking by Hydrogen Flash Smelting" - replaces carbon as a blast-furnace fuel with hydrogen.