Energy

The aluminum industry supports federal and state energy policy that: supports shale gas exploration, promotes energy efficiency and recycling, provides for a stable, predictably priced electricity supply, and protects a vibrant manufacturing base.  

The current administration’s focus on research and development for industrial energy efficiency is vital for US manufacturing and the aluminum industry.  The aluminum industry, an energy intensive industry, has voluntarily worked to improve its energy efficiency to the best of its capabilities. 

The industry will continue to support the Department of Energy’s efforts to make advancements in energy efficiency in other manufacturing sectors. The aluminum industry has a long history of successful partnerships with federal regulators, the Department of Energy in particular.  The industry looks to continue these partnerships to further advance the United States’ energy competitiveness.  

Through sensible legislation and regulation, the aluminum industry strongly believes that energy policy must:

  • Support shale gas exploration in the US
  • Recognize voluntary actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG)
  • Promote recycling as it is essential to energy efficiency
  • Protect a vital U.S. manufacturing sector from overly burdensome regulations

Shale Gas As An Energy Alternative

The United States has a wealth of natural gas reserves. The current boom in shale gas supply has been a driving force for the manufacturing renaissance:

  • Low energy prices driven by this trend are helping manufacturers stay in business
  • Electricity is the largest feedstock in aluminum production, meaning low energy prices are especially important to keep aluminum jobs in the US

The window of opportunity for the US to capitalize on its natural gas advantage is short. The aluminum industry believes federal policy should be focused on maximizing the nation’s natural gas benefit for US manufacturers and producers.

Energy Efficiency Gains Through Greenhouse Gas Reductions

Since the early 1990s, the aluminum industry has made voluntary efforts to increase its energy efficiency through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.  The industry has:

  • Reduced greenhouses gas emissions by 62 percent since 1992
  • Reduced perfluorocarbon (PFC) emissions by 85 percent

The aluminum industry’s voluntary efforts have not gone unnoticed.  In 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency recognized the industry as a leader and awarded the industry the EPA’s Climate Change Protection Award in 2001.

The aluminum industry continues its work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The industry believes it should receive recognition and credit for its voluntary actions in climate change policy.

Recycling Encouraged Through Legislation

Increased recycling of aluminum continues to be the best way to improve energy efficiency.  Producing secondary, or recycled, aluminum saves more than 90 percent of the energy involved with making primary, or new, aluminum.

Energy efficiency and recycling are intrinsically linked.  The energy savings from recycling aluminum should be considered when developing future energy policy.  The Department of Energy’s current research to quantify the benefits of recycling for the aluminum industry is making great efforts for the industry.

Energy policy should incentivize and reward recycling efforts as it promotes energy efficiency.

Developing Sensible Legislation and Regulation

The aluminum industry is investing in new research to help federal policymakers understand the industry’s contributions to energy efficiency.  

Overly burdensome regulations can needlessly increase energy costs, hurt the aluminum industry’s global competitiveness and drive companies out of business.

Energy policies that do not take energy intensive industries like the aluminum industry into account and negatively impact energy costs will put the industries at a disadvantage against foreign competitors.  

The aluminum industry is dedicated to working with federal policy makers on common sense policy to address energy policy while protecting a vibrant manufacturing base.

 

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