Thursday, February 18, 2010

Cement Industry Wrong On Price & Jobs Re Emissions

The U.S. cement industry is opposing tighter EPA regulations on mercury, soot, hydrochloric acid and hydrocarbons such as benzene. They are also suing EPA over pending carbon dioxide (CO2) emission regulations. A Portland Cement Association (PCA) report, written by a Southern Methodist University researcher, states that the rules could lead to job losses at American plants and the importation of cement from countries with less-stringent regulations. Portland cement is made by cooking limestone in giant kilns, and it's one of the key ingredients in concrete, mortar and other building materials. The Center disagrees about the job losses and believes the industry could leverage offsets to increase jobs.

PCA believes the rules could cost the industry $4 billion and raise the price of cement from $100 per ton to $121 per ton. The Center believes the cement industry could leverage offsets to increase its profitability.

According to EPA, some plants already meet the new standards and that compliance will cost $222 million to $624 million. EPA also claims the rules could prevent 620 to 1,600 premature deaths from lung disease and other illnesses and save $4 billion to $11 billion in healthcare costs. The rules are expected to be finalized by June. (Star Telegram, 2/17/10)

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