Steel Industry Concerned About Emissions Regulations

AISI claims extending auto emissions standards to manufacturing plants will harm economy.

Delaying greenhouse-gas emissions rules for stationary sources to January 2011 will provide little benefit for manufacturers, and the tougher rules could halt construction on new manufacturing plants, according to American Iron and Steel Institute President and CEO Thomas Gibson.

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to extend tailpipe emissions standards for stationary sources of greenhouse-gas emissions is "tantamount to immediate regulation, in effect, shutting down plans for the very investment in new plants and equipment that is so desperately needed to help jumpstart America's fragile economic recovery," Gibson said in a statement after the EPA announced on March 29 it was delaying the permit requirement.

"Of particular concern is the fact permits already in progress will need to be reconsidered which is It flies in the face of the administration's goals of economic recovery, job creation and developing America's green energy infrastructure," he said.

The new regulations could shift production overseas since the new regulations do not address global emissions, Gibson said. AISI is calling on Congress to decide the fate of emissions standards in the United States rather than the EPA.

"We urge Congress to help bring a halt to EPA's ill-advised attempt to use the Clean Air Act to regulate stationary sources, and instead, consider a legislative approach that reduces emissions while ensuring international competitiveness for domestic industries," Gibson said.

In the same statement, Gibson praised President Obama for his announcement this week to expand offshore oil and gas exploration in U.S. waters.

"This is a much-needed step in the right direction that the steel industry has been strongly advocating in order to create a green, abundant and affordable energy supply," Gibson said. Further expansion into other areas in our federal waters, guided not by local political considerations, but by scientific evidence, will be required to reduce our dependence on foreign suppliers, more fully develop our domestic energy supply and assure our nation's energy security."

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