If the US can produce clean steel, China should too

Apr 20, 2009 | 12:10 PM |

China is now the world's leading industrial producer of carbon dioxide. It is also, as a new report by the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) makes clear, riddled with terrible environmental pollution throughout its steel industry (www.americanmanufacturing.org/assessment-of-china). Despite worsening air and water conditions throughout much of the nation, Beijing has shown a repeated lack of will to impose reasonable emission regulations on provincial and local governments. The bottom line is this looking at current discussions on global climate change, there's little to suggest that Beijing will address the issue in any effective manner.

Recently, the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee held hearings on climate issues, and China was a key subject. China possesses the world's fastest-growing steel industry, but this rapid growth has brought with it ineffective enforcement of weak pollution-control standards, a failure to use adequate pollution-prevention measures and such high levels of pollution that the World Bank now estimates 99 percent of the 540 million Chinese who live in urban areas are breathing unsafe air.

At U.S. Steel, we argue that a real climate change solution cannot be achieved unless the White House and Congress hold China accountable for its reckless environmental practices.

United Steelworkers union president Leo Gerard cited the AAM report during recent congressional hearings, and at U.S. Steel we agree that any carbon discussion must adequately recognize the serious flaws in China's emission controls and the damage it is doing to human health and global efforts to address climate change.....

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