BlueGreen Alliance | Experts Discuss How to Revitalize the Domestic Aluminum Industry

Experts Discuss How to Revitalize the Domestic Aluminum Industry

November 7, 2023

Today the BlueGreen Alliance hosted a webinar called Forging Ahead: Investing in Domestic Clean Aluminum in partnership with the Sustainable Aluminum Network. Government officials, union representatives, environmental experts, and industry representatives across the United States heard leading industrial manufacturing experts discuss the Inflation Reduction Act and its transformative power to restore the aluminum supply chain in the United States.

The more than $50 billion in clean manufacturing investments available through the Inflation Reduction Act can be used to reverse the industry’s decline by reopening idled smelters; jumpstarting new aluminum manufacturing facilities; and implementing emissions-reducing technology while supporting good-paying union jobs. 

“The BlueGreen Alliance was formed on the ideal that we can solve today’s environmental challenges in ways that create good quality jobs,” said Jason Walsh, Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance. “We now have the means to revitalize our aluminum industry and create the components we need for our clean economy here at home. A vibrant domestic aluminum industry is essential to a clean environment and good jobs for working communities.”  

“Electric vehicles, phones, solar panels, and transmission wires—all fundamental to our daily lives—can be made with domestically-produced, zero-carbon aluminum,” said Annie Sartor, Aluminum Campaign Director at Industrious Labs. “The United States was once a top producer of aluminum, but the last few decades have only gutted the industry. The Inflation Reduction Act has the potential to set the industrial sector on a path toward revitalization—bringing back thousands of manufacturing jobs, reducing industry emissions, and helping to meet our climate goals. Aluminum is critical in building the future of America’s clean energy economy—a future we deserve.” 

“I’ve built my career on clean aluminum,” said Ashley Boucher, Ultrasonic Lead at Kaiser Aluminum Trentwood and Women of Steel Co-Chair for United Steelworkers Local 338. “My union job has allowed me to support my family, has trained me in every facet of my work, and gives me a strong connection to my local community as I work alongside my neighbors and friends. We need more union jobs in this country, to lift up workers and to build a better climate.” 

“We need aluminum to not only meet our jobs and clean energy goals, but also for national defense,” said Joe Quinn, Vice President of Strategic Industrial Materials at Securing America’s Future Energy. “President Biden has the power to mandate we rebuild our stash of aluminum in the National Defense Stockpile as an essential component for military applications. The additional money in the Inflation Reduction Act also adds $500 million to the Defense Production Act to support manufacturing of critical materials like aluminum. Rebuilding our domestic aluminum supply chain protects national security while creating good, union jobs at the same time.” 

“Climate and trade policies, like the EU Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, the U.S.-EU Global Arrangement for Sustainable Steel and Aluminum, and the proposed Foreign Pollution Fee Act, are establishing a global market incentive to value environmental performance,” said Catrina Rorke, Executive Director of the Climate Leadership Council’s Center for Climate and Trade. “The domestic push to ramp up clean, primary aluminum production is well-timed to leverage these new trade approaches, reestablish the United States as a dominant aluminum supplier, and reward American manufacturers for developing the manufacturing practices vital to a low carbon future.” 

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act are once-in-a-generation investments designed to modernize and upgrade American infrastructure to enhance U.S. competitiveness,” said Tara Gedvilas, Industrial Demonstrations Program Project Manager of the Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations within the U.S. Department of Energy. “The Industrial Demonstration Program represents an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate first- or early-of-a-kind decarbonization solutions in energy-intensive industrial subsectors like aluminum. We are committed to ensuring the coming industrial transformation benefits our climate and that all Americans reap the rewards.”