A diverse group of major companies, including GM, Ford and Pepsi Co., have issued a letter to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) urging the department to explore the efficacy of American-made clean aluminum. This comes as primary aluminum production across the United States continues to plummet.
Consisting of 14 companies in total, this letter urges the DOE to invest in American-made clean aluminum to retain and create manufacturing jobs, reduce industrial emissions, and grow a vital industry. To this end, the companies encourage the department to use investment from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to secure an affordable supply of clean energy, rather than allowing American-made primary aluminum to disappear.
“America needs a reliable supply of domestically produced, clean aluminum,” the letter reads. “As significant buyers of primary aluminum, we strongly support federal investments via the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) to ensure that the United States will be a leader in producing this critical material, which is essential to America’s economic growth.”
The companies then go on to point out that aluminum is an indispensable resource, and serves as the building blocks of a clean energy economy. In fact, the letter states that global demand for aluminum is set to increase nearly 40 percent by 2030 and 80 percent by 2050, and mentions that in the past 18 months, the U.S. primary aluminum industry has been plagued by layoffs, curtailed production, and closures.
“Today, primary aluminum production in the United States is in crisis,” the letter continues. “While global demand for primary aluminum is forecast to grow over the coming decades, domestic primary aluminum production has continued to decline and is at risk of disappearing. Spiking electricity prices, lack of access to low-cost renewable energy, and insufficient federal investment have pushed the remaining six primary smelters to the brink.”