ACES is far from a winning hand for steel, execs warn

Jul 01, 2009 | 08:01 AM |

WASHINGTON The American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) bill passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, keeping to the stringent time-frame that co-author and committee chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D., Calif.) stressed was necessary—and its progress is a worrisome development for steel.

Many steel industry executives believe more analysis is needed before the climate-change bill becomes law, and they are now looking to the Senate to address many of the issues absent from the House version.

Concerns raised by industry executives with ACES as written revolve around proper border adjustments to maintain international competitiveness, particularly if a global standard isn't enacted, and a larger pool of free rebates—or allocations—as steel works to harness technology to reduce carbon emissions. Under the ACES bill, energy-intensive industries would receive 15 percent of the free allowances beginning in 2014 and would continue to receive allowances that will be phased out after 2025.

"While we are not advocating a continuation of the status quo, America needs an energy policy that for the next 30 years includes coal and other forms of energy, especially nuclear," said Thomas Danjczek, president of the Steel Manufacturers Association. "Doubling of energy prices via a massive tax is poor policy. The bill is seriously flawed. Let's hope the U.S. Senate can do better."....

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