The aluminum industry supports federal policy that addresses climate change. Protecting the environment and the public health of Americans is a priority for the industry. However, the aluminum industry also works to protect this vital manufacturing sector and its jobs. Through sensible legislation and regulation, the aluminum industry strongly believes that climate change policy must:
Since the early 1990s, the aluminum industry has made voluntary efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Since 1992, the industry has reduced overall greenhouse gas emissions by 62 percent, decreasing the industry’s global warming potential as well.
Through a voluntary partnership (VAIP) with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the industry has reduced emissions of perfluorocarbons (PFC), a greenhouse gas by 85 percent. EPA has 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. Climate policy that mandates across the board GHG reductions from all manufacturing sectors will disadvantage industries that have already taken aggressive action to curb their emissions.
Leaving credit for early action out of climate policy punishes manufacturing’s good actors, while providing incentives to sectors which have not addressed the issue. Doing this leaves large emissions reductions within easy reach.
About one-half of the U.S. aluminum supply comes from recycled, known as secondary, aluminum. Nearly 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in use. In fact, much of the aluminum used in products today is recycled at the end of use:
The energy and greenhouse gas benefits of recycling are an important component of any successful climate protection strategy. Producing secondary aluminum saves more than 90 percent of the energy and emits only five percent of the greenhouse gases as making primary, or new, aluminum.
Climate change policy should incentivize and reward recycling efforts as it promotes energy efficiency. Every kilowatt of electricity that is saved equals emissions avoided. Incorporating incentives in climate policy for this avoidance is the best form of GHG policy.
The aluminum industry strongly believes federal policy makers should consider how overly burdensome regulations can needlessly increase energy costs, hurt the aluminum industry’s global competitiveness and drive companies out of business.
Emissions and climate policies that negatively impact energy costs will put the U.S. aluminum industry at a disadvantage against foreign competitors. Since aluminum is a traded commodity, additional energy costs cannot be passed on to those who buy the aluminum.
The aluminum industry is dedicated to working with federal policy makers on common sense policy to address climate change while protecting a vibrant manufacturing base.