- Lowering and stabilizing energy costs will bolster domestic industry.
- The U.S. is at risk of greater reliance on adversarial countries for critical materials.
Washington, D.C. – Today, The SAFE Center for Strategic Industrial Materials (C-SIM) released The U.S. Aluminum Industry’s Energy Problem and Energy Solution, the first report in a series of policy papers regarding the various issues impacting domestic primary aluminum production.
Aluminum is critical to our economic and national security through its defense, aerospace, electricity, and transportation uses. Demand will continue to grow as the economy transitions to a more sustainable energy future with the electrification of automobiles and new green technologies. This report analyzes the dichotomy between rising demand for aluminum and its energy-saving benefits versus the declining production in the U.S. due to its energy intensity in the production phase.
“As the aluminum sector is expected to rapidly grow over the next twenty years, the United States should evaluate whether it is likely to maintain a secure and reliable supply of primary aluminum, or whether vulnerabilities exist in the supply chain,” said Joe Quinn, Director of C-SIM. “Global demand is outpacing supply, so we can see a potential supply shocking coming. The U.S. has the power to avoid these damaging results by creating opportunities for industry to overcome current and future energy challenges.”
Without action to stabilize and decarbonize domestic primary aluminum, the United States is at risk of increasing its reliance on the UAE, Russia and China for critical infrastructures, military needs, and clean technologies. In the report, C-SIM recommends government leaders leverage new and existing policies, like the recent Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, to ensure secure supply chains and improve environmental outcomes.
“A strong North American aluminum sector could become the cornerstone of an innovative manufacturing ecosystem benefiting a widespread of industries,” said SAFE Founder and CEO Robbie Diamond. “Evaluating our options at this pivotal moment in the energy transition will ensure domestic supply chain resiliency and guarantee the United States will not cede its industrial future to adversarial nations. This matters to our clean energy, industrial, and military future. Aluminum personifies the opportunities and challenges the U.S. has as we seek to reindustrialize across the supply chain requiring both minerals and the cheap, abundant, reliable and clean electricity to process them.”
In the coming months, C-SIM will release additional reports examining domestic and global policy options for aluminum to preserve economic and national security while enabling a clean technology transition.
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About SAFE’s Center for Strategic Industrial Materials
C-SIM is a policy initiative dedicated to advancing more secure, reliable, and sustainable supply chains for aluminum and other industrial materials critical to America’s national and economic security. The Center is exploring new federal government purchasing regulations that prioritize domestic aluminum and developing policy recommendations designed to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2035.
SAFE is a non-partisan, non-profit policy thought leadership organization dedicated to accelerating the real-world deployment of secure, resilient, and sustainable transportation and energy solutions of the United States, and its partners and allies, by shaping policies, perceptions and practices that create opportunity for all.