Lipinski Bill to Spur Steel Jobs and Protect Environment Becomes Law

Yesterday, Congressman Dan Lipinski's (IL-03) bill that will help create more American jobs in the metals industries and protect the environment was signed into law.  This legislation reauthorizes the Steel and Aluminum Energy Conservation and Technology Competitiveness Act of 1988 and provides research funding to make American steel and other metal manufacturing processes more efficient and environmentally friendly.  The Metals Initiative originally passed the House last year as H.R. 1126 and passed the U.S. Senate last month as part of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act (S. 2739).

"Now more than ever, American industries must be fully prepared to confront the numerous challenges they face," stated Lipinski, whose father-in-law lost his job as a steelworker in Johnstown, Pennsylvania when his plant closed due to foreign competition.  "This Act will help develop the innovative tools needed to grow valuable American jobs and businesses, assure a domestic supply of materials for national defense, and protect the environment."

Specifically, the Lipinski legislation reauthorizes the Metals Initiative at $12 million per year through 2012 to fund advanced metals research.  As a result of this legislation, American metals industries will get help developing and implementing cost-saving and environmentally-friendly modern technology through critical grants to universities and other research institutions.  Through the collaborative research efforts of American companies, the Department of Energy, and institutions of higher education, this program has produced several successful and important technological breakthroughs that have resulted in important environmental and energy savings, as well as innovations that help American defense.

"As a manufacturer whose competitiveness is closely tied to the cost and availability of steel and aluminum, I applaud this measure," stated Zach Mottl, Purchasing Manager of Atlas Tool and Die Works, Inc. in Lyons, Illinois.  "We've seen aluminum prices go up around 80% during the past few years.  At the same time, we have faced unfair foreign competition in which raw materials and other factors of production are often 'subsidized' by foreign governments who have invested in the latest technologies.  Measures like H.R. 1126, which help reduce the cost of domestic manufacturing and level our global playing field, are great for industry, domestic security, and jobs."

"As Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Science and Technology, I believe that this is exactly the type of research that we need to be promoting," stated Lipinski. "This will help put the world's greatest universities and research institutions to work in creating good paying American jobs in an environmentally friendly way."

(May 9, 2008)


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