Washington, D.C. (May 11, 2023) — Member companies of the Portland Cement Association (PCA), which represents the majority of U.S. cement manufacturers, will meet with Congressional offices and federal agencies in Washington, D.C. May 15-16 to detail vital policy steps for the cement industry to continue cutting long-term CO2 emissions.
The timely visit comes as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) starts to gather on-the-ground momentum and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) finds itself under Congressional scrutiny. It also takes place as the industry enters the second year of implementing PCA’s Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality, which provides a broad suite of actions and options – many of which need policy support – for the entire cement-concrete-construction value chain to reach net zero.
Among the Roadmap's recommendations, PCA and its members will call on Congress and federal agencies to:
- advance vital permitting reform that allows PCA members to meet their carbon neutrality goals and the Administration’s climate goals – especially regarding carbon capture technology;
- increase the use of alternative fuels in cement plants by removing regulatory barriers;
- ensure industry exemptions for Buy America provisions in the IIJA are maintained per the legislation’s original intent;
- reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration before September 30, 2023; and
- continue the robust funding of Department of Energy research, design, and deployment of carbon capture technologies.
Mike Ireland, President and CEO of PCA, said, “By passing landmark legislation like the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, Congress has placed cement at the heart of its long-term climate and infrastructure ambitions. These goals cannot be reached without carbon-neutral cement, but the industry cannot reach carbon neutrality without help from Congress. The industry needs the right policies, from permitting reform to carbon-capture funding, that will allow it to become more sustainable. Our success is their success, and we look forward to working together to make that happen.”
Concrete, made with cement, is central to the American built environment, with approximately 260 million cubic yards of concrete used in the United States each year. The cement, concrete, and related industries directly and indirectly employ nearly 600,000 people and contribute more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy every year. The need to cut further emissions from the construction sector is becoming more acute, as the IIJA will add another 46 million tons of cement through new, federally funded infrastructure projects that have sustainability as a core concern.
While the cement industry has already cut its emissions to the point where it represents just 1.25 percent of U.S. CO2 emissions today, PCA continues to educate Congress and federal agencies on how the entire value chain can reach carbon neutrality—reducing emissions even as demand increases.
The Portland Cement Association (PCA), founded in 1916, is the premier policy, research, education, and market intelligence organization serving America’s cement manufacturers. PCA supports sustainability, innovation, and safety while fostering continuous improvement in cement manufacturing, distribution, infrastructure, and economic growth. For more information, visit www.cement.org.