Steel industry lauds new federal Buy Clean actions [update]

Steel industry leaders applauded the White House’s announcement of “Buy Clean actions”

During a visit by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttegieg and US General Services Administrator Robin Carnahan to the Cleveland Cliffs direct-reduction iron facility in Toledo, Ohio, on Thursday September 15, steel industry leaders applauded the White House’s announcement of “Buy Clean actions”.

“We are pleased that the administration continues to recognize that the American steel industry is leading the way on decarbonization, as reflected in [its plan] to prioritize the government’s purchase of lower-emissions construction materials for federally-funded projects,” said John Dempsey, American Iron and Steel Industry president and chief executive officer.

“Today’s announcement recognizes the innovations and advancements being made by American steel producers, and we look forward to working with the government agencies to continue to incentivize the use of clean American-made steel as this initiative is implemented,” Dempsey said

Cleveland-Cliffs said it was pleased to host Buttigieg and Carnahan, as well as Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi at its Toledo plant.

“[They] came to our Direct Reduction plant to highlight our transformative investment in carbon-efficient steelmaking,” a Cleveland-Cliffs spokesperson told Fastmarkets in an email on Thursday.

Cleveland-Cliffs stands ready to support our customers with low carbon-intensive steel, and we have a North American supply chain in position today to facilitate this transition

“Cleveland-Cliffs stands ready to support our customers with low carbon-intensive steel, and we have a North American supply chain in position today to facilitate this transition,” the spokesperson said.

“We are able to supply the new specialty grades of steel to facilitate electrification of the American vehicle fleet and charging stations. Our products enable green energy projects, supplying steel for wind towers, solar generation and electric grid modernization,” they added.

Phillip Bell, president of the Steel Manufacturers Association, said: “We support the administration’s efforts on Buy Clean. It goes without saying that the most effective way to lower carbon emissions is for businesses and consumers to use domestically produced steel made via the EAF process. Steel made by American EAF producers is 75-320% lower in carbon intensity than steel made the traditional way. America’s EAF producers are ready to do their part.”

The White House said a key goal of the administration’s Buy Clean actions will be to prioritize the federal government’s purchase of steel, concrete, asphalt and flat glass that have lower levels of emissions.

“These four construction materials are some of the most carbon-intensive, accounting for nearly half of all US manufacturing greenhouse gas emissions and 98% of the government purchased construction materials,” the White House stated.

The Department of Transportation will announce the first agency-wide Buy Clean policy “to drive progress,” according to the White House.

“The initiative will jumpstart better data and reporting, better procurement and purchasing policies, and better education and research to ensure the use of sustainable materials across its programs,” the White House stated.

The Buy Clean Task Force will provide instructions to agencies for integrating “Buy Clean” into federal procurement and funding processes, the White House stated.

Editor’s note: This report was updated on Friday September 16 to include a quote that made after publication.

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