REAUTHORIZING THE STEEL AND ALUMINUM ENERGY CONSERVATION AND TECHNOLOGY COMPETITIVENESS ACT OF 1988 -- (House of Representatives - March 12, 2007)
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Mr. HALL of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1126, a bill to reauthorize the Steel and Aluminum Energy Conservation and Technology Competitiveness Act of 1988. This legislation has been passed unanimously by this body for the past two Congresses, and I hope it will do so again today.
The Department of Energy's steel-related energy-efficiency research and development program was first established in 1986 and was expanded to a broader ``metals initiative'' in 1988 when the President signed into law the Steel and Aluminum Energy Conservation and Technology Competitiveness Act of 1988.
Reauthorization of appropriations for the program occurred in 1992 with the passage of the Energy Policy Act, but expired in 1997. The steel industry and the Department of Energy continued the partnership under the Metals Initiative and its predecessor, the Steel Initiative, after the authorization expired. This bill would reauthorize the important program through 2012 and expand it slightly by adding research on technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The metals industry is one of the most energy-intensive industries, with energy accounting for a major portion of the cost of production. Improving energy efficiency for this industry will help to reduce the cost of steel and keep American steelmakers competitive in the world market. Improving efficiency will also help with our country's goal to become energy independent and environmentally responsible.
Investment made at the government level in partnership with industry to stimulate achievement of this increased energy efficiency has shown great results. Over the years, 58 steel companies and 23 research organizations participated in and benefited from this program. According to testimony from the United States Steel Corporation, through this program they saw a ``set of projects that saved nearly a barrel of oil per Federal dollar invested. Or, in terms of the environment, a ton of CO
2 for every $2 of Federal money invested, all the while delivering real technology to the plant floor to help maintain a competitive advantage.''
I ask my colleagues to join me in support of H.R. 1126.
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