Steel News

House Zaps Electrical Steel Rule That Affects Cleveland-Cliffs Plant

5/8/2024 - The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to repeal a compromise rule that, according to one lawmaker, inadequately protects a Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. mill in western Pennsylvania. 

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette newspaper, the House struck a revised energy rule relating to the use of grain-oriented electrical steel (GOES), which is produced by Cliffs’ Butler County, Pa., USA, facility. 

At question was an Energy Department rule governing the energy efficiency standards for distribution transformers. The initial version of the rule likely would have swung the market away from grain-oriented electrical steel used for that application to an alternative material.

But after bipartisan opposition, the rule was amended in such a way that it would have preserved an estimated 75% of the market for grain-oriented electrical steels. 

The revision was seen as a compromise, including by Cleveland-Cliffs.

“The final rule ensures Cliffs’ ability to continue producing highly efficient GOES in the United States. Once this rule is enacted, we expect to actually see an increase in demand for our GOES, opening the possibility of future investments and expansion of our plants in Butler, Pa., and Zanesville, Ohio,” Cliffs chairman and chief executive officer Lourenco Goncalves said at the time. 

Nevertheless, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, a Butler County Republican, said the revision did not go far enough and that he did not trust the Biden administration’s track record on domestic energy production, the Post-Gazette reported.

Kelly therefore proposed an amendment to repeal the rule, which was attached to a Republican-led bill intended to downplay efficiency standards for home appliances, the Post-Gazette said. 
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