Posted on July 20, 2023 by Emily Johnson
Industrial emissions are set to be the top source of emissions by 2030, surpassing the power and transportation sectors. Globally, industrial emissions are 40 percent, but it’s hardly talked about here in our nation’s capital.
ClearPath, in partnership with Clean Air Task Force (CATF), hosted the Clean Industrial Summit at the National Press Club to start bringing more attention to this growing challenge.
Top thought leaders, project developers, innovators, and lawmakers came together on Wednesday July 19, 2023, to discuss the exciting opportunities to ensure America’s next industrial revolution arrives — leading the world in decarbonization.
(Pictured right) U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) shared her role on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to build bipartisan consensus on clean energy and industrial policy.
The event kicked off with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Under Secretary for Infrastructure David Crane joining CATF’s U.S. Advocacy and Policy Director Lindsey Griffith for a fireside chat detailing DOE’s approach to decarbonization and highlighting DOE’s upcoming “liftoff” reports on the path forward for industrial decarbonization.
The first panel, “The Unsuspecting Leaders Decarbonizing America — Steel, Cement, Concrete, and Asphalt,” featured incumbent industry leaders who shared their efforts in decreasing U.S. emissions. The panel highlighted how recently passed legislation (the Energy Act of 2020, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law of 2021, and the Steel Upgrading Partnerships and Emissions Reduction Act (SUPER) Act) has catalyzed investments in industrial decarbonization while stressing that future policy support is still needed to accelerate R&D of next-generation technology.
Pictured L to R: Xan Fishman, Director of Energy Policy and Carbon Management, Bipartisan Policy Center; Melissa Carey, Head of Climate, ESG Policy and Government Affairs, Holcim; Kevin Dempsey, President and CEO, American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI); Jerae Carlson, Senior VP of Sustainability, Communications & Public Affairs, Cemex USA; and Eunice Heath, Senior VP and Chief Sustainability Officer, CRH.
U.S. Senators Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) highlighted industrial innovation and bipartisan opportunities for policy.
“I think this is an important time to bring everyone together to talk about emissions and the environment, and make these solutions bipartisan because they’re the most long lasting and have the greatest likelihood of actually seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Sen. Capito.
Sen. Capito also discussed the need to improve project permitting stating, “If we are going to make our industrial sources as clean as we can, we have to get the permitting right.”
“Allowing America to lead will result in a cleaner environment with massive reductions in global emissions and cost, as well as help the economy,” said Sen. Tillis. “One of the biggest global environmental policies we can all get behind is bringing more manufacturing and more energy production back to the United States.”
The second panel covered “Breakthrough Technologies Leading America’s Industrial Decarbonization.” Steel, cement, concrete, and asphalt are some of the toughest industries to decarbonize as emissions are inherent in their manufacturing processes. Leaders of innovative companies spoke on the groundbreaking technologies they are developing.
Pictured L to R: Brad Townsend, Vice President, Policy and Outreach, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES); Leah Ellis, CEO, Sublime Systems; Cody Finke, CEO, Brimstone; and Tom Dower, VP of Public Policy, LanzaTech.
The final panel of the summit, “Decarbonizing the Main Source of Industrial Emissions: Industrial Process Heat” consisted of a discussion involving different companies’ strategies to produce heat in new, cleaner ways.
(Pictured right) Abigail Regitsky, Senior Manager, U.S. Policy and Advocacy, Breakthrough Energy moderated questions between Andrew Ponec, CEO, Antora Energy; Brandon MacDonald, Director of Product, Via Separations; and Ben Reinke, VP of Global Business Development, X-energy.
The panel covered the contribution of high-temperature heat and steam to overall industrial emissions. In fact, industrial heat comprises 40% of total industrial emissions, or roughly 10% of total global carbon dioxide emissions.
It’s clear from this event that American innovators are actively combating the challenges of industrial emissions by leading a new revolution of innovation — producing cleaner industrial products like steel, cement, concrete, asphalt, chemicals and industrial heat.
– Mary Kozeny, a summer external affairs intern for ClearPath, and rising Junior at Boston College, contributed to this blog.