American Steel Industry Submits Comments on Vehicle Fuel Economy Proposal

by David Fleschen

Thomas J. Gibson, president and CEO of the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), filed comments with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Proposed Rule for Model Years 2021-2026. The Institute’s comments support the general direction of the new proposal, which would establish a standard that balances the priorities of affordability, safety, jobs, and the environment.

“We believe that steel will continue to be a critical component for automakers to meet the final requirements,” Gibson said in his submission to the government. “We are strong advocates for one national program of standards, as we believe this is best for automakers, the automotive supply chain including the steel industry, in addition to consumers and the economy as a whole.”

“We believe that an overly stringent standard that optimizes tailpipe-only GHG emissions and fuel economy enhancements to the exclusion of other necessary and important design factors, would result in a host of negative outcomes – like increased costs to consumers and negative effects on the environment, increased safety design challenges and negative job impact,” he added, also referencing a recent peer-reviewed study conducted by the Steel Recycling Institute.

Gibson expressed concern about any outcomes that could force automakers into choosing alternative materials that are more costly and have the potential to result in higher overall GHG emissions compared to lightweighting with advanced high-strength steel.

“Since 1970, the steel industry has developed more than 200 innovative new grades of steel, many in collaboration with automakers and specifically for the purposes of achieving new vehicle designs that meet regulatory requirements. Material selection is important in helping automakers achieve their performance goals ranging from the driver’s experience to passenger safety to overall durability. These choices must all be balanced to meet the needs of the consumer at an affordable cost while protecting the environment,” Gibson concluded.

source: AISI, photo: fotoalia

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