NEW YORK U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposals to reduce carbon dioxide pollution from power plants could have negative, long-term effects on the die casting industry, according to the North American Diecasters Association (Nadca).
EPA proposals announced Sept. 20 would require new coal-fired power plants to meet a limit of 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, and would have the option to meet a somewhat tighter limit if they choose to average emissions over multiple years.
The EPA plans to hold 11 public sessions to solicit ideas and input from the public and stakeholders about the most viable Clean Air Act approaches to reducing carbon dioxide pollution.
"We hope the EPA is sincere in soliciting input from stakeholders and takes serious account of the impact their decisions will have on manufacturing businesses," Nadca president Daniel Twarog told AMM. "The die casting industry is a very energy-intensive sector, and even the slightest increase in costs or decrease in availability can significantly disrupt the manufacturing supply chain."
Restrictions on new power plants are necessary to prevent long-lasting climate changes, according to the EPA. The electric power sector accounted for 33 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and 60 percent of U.S. stationary-source greenhouse gas emissions in 2011, the agency said, and fossil-fuel-fired power plants are the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions.
"Coal is one the nations most stable and reliable sources of domestic energy," Twarog said. "Energy costs account for a high percentage of a die casters costs. Any increase in energy costs will result in higher-cost die castings."