Let’s face it, most of our businesses use lots of energy. It’s hard to get around that when we are repeatedly heating large furnaces to higher than 1000°F. Trouble is, energy is expensive. As a result, conserving energy and the CO2 reduction that accompanies it is a good thing for your company’s bottom line.

Having said that, we oppose unhelpful regulations that add to our bottom line without providing measurable environmental benefit. Are we being selfish or irresponsible when we oppose legislation and regulations that seek to tax the engine of the economy? I believe the new administration thinks so, and I encourage you to be vigilant about new regulations.

Looking at the website for the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST), here’s what they have to say. “The domestic iron and steel industry continues to lead the world in environmental performance, making the United States a global model for the clean production of steel. The American steel industry has long identified environmental stewardship and commitment to sustainability as part of our strategic plan and vision for the future. The industry continues to aggressively seek new ways to reduce our environmental footprint. To build upon that progress, AIST urges the President and the Congress to take the following policy actions:

  • Ensure that regulatory decision-making by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is based on sound science and technological feasibility, as well as robust public participation and transparency.
  • Ensure that EPA’s regulations are developed to provide substantial quantifiable human health and environmental benefits and take into account appropriate consideration of costs.
  • Ensure that environmental regulations do not harm the American steel industry’s international competitiveness.”

These points seem like a good place to start. If all environmental policy followed these guidelines, most of us would be happy. With this simple guideline, however, I think the key is who gets to define “science.” As a reminder, here’s what I have previously seen and mentioned in the past about climate science.

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Richard Lindzen, an atmospheric sciences professor at MIT, indicated that scientists essentially agree that “given the complexity of climate, no confident prediction about future global mean temperature or its impact can be made.” Lindzen argues that it is unfortunate that the most shrill environmentalist groups seem to be “winning the argument because they have drowned out the serious debate that should be going on … But they won’t be able to bury the truth. The climate will have the final word on that.”

In its 2007 report, the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) acknowledged the same when they said, “The long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.” So, if actual science is allowed to be the determining factor as AIST encourages, perhaps better decisions will be made.

One of our articles this month from Honeywell – “Emissions Reductions that Matter” – directly addresses the topic on energy savings and emissions. Two other articles either directly or indirectly deal with saving energy through learning about and understanding your processes.

You can also check out the Energy-Saver Update for more energy-saving ideas. Watch for our 90th Anniversary special edition in July along with the Buyers Guide eBook. Enjoy the summer and stay cool.