Steel group chief optimistic

Feb 01, 2011 | 04:06 AM |

American Metal Market asked Thomas J. Gibson, American Iron and Steel Institute president and chief executive officer, to address some key issues facing the U.S. steel industry as a new year and a new Congress get underway.

What does the new political climate mean for the steel industry as 2011 begins?

Gibson With more than 90 new faces in Congress, our first priority will be to educate the new members on the importance of the American steel industry and its role in strengthening the economy. We saw jobs as the main theme in the midterm elections and we hope the new Congress will implement policies that will promote job growth, not job destruction. We were very vocal in 2010 and will continue in 2011 to push for currency reform legislation, a repeal of the Environmental Protection Agency's regulation of greenhouse gases from stationary sources and a long-term surface transportation act. The new Congress must solve and reduce the nation's 9.8-percent unemployment rate. We know our industry can be part of the solution.

What are your public policy priorities right now, and which of these do you expect to become reality?

Gibson Key public policy priorities for the steel industry in 2011 include

•?Greater congressional oversight of economically damaging government regulations—like those proposed by EPA with respect to greenhouse gases—that will undermine the competitiveness of North American steel producers.

•?Enactment of a new energy policy that promotes development of domestic energy sources and provides incentives for industrial efficiency projects and support for efforts to develop breakthrough technologies that will allow the industry to move to a lower-carbon future.....

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