Member companies of the Portland Cement Association (PCA), which represents the majority of U.S. cement production, will meet with Congressional offices and federal agencies in Washington this week to outline the policies and support needed to cut sector CO2 emissions for the long term.
The visit builds upon the recent release of PCA’s Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality, which outlines actions, many of which require policy support, to achieve carbon neutrality across the entire cement-concrete-construction value chain by 2050. Among other issues, PCA members will advocate for these recommendations with members of Congress and senior officials at federal agencies, including the Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, and the General Services Administration.
Among the Roadmap’s recommendations, PCA’s members will call on Congress and federal agencies to:
- Extend and expand the 45Q tax credit to help manufacturers install and operate carbon capture equipment.
- Continue the robust funding of Department of Energy research, design and deployment of carbon capture technologies for manufacturers.
- Revise EPA’s Non-Hazardous Secondary Materials (NHSM) Rule to allow for the use of recyclables as fuel.
- Encourage the increased use of lower carbon cement in federal procurement.
PCA members also see the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) as a crucial step toward achieving its carbon neutrality goals, and will urge against suspending the federal gas tax as it is a critical source of IIJA funding.
Mike Ireland, President and CEO of PCA, said, “Achieving carbon neutrality across the cement-concrete-construction value chain requires a vast array of stakeholders to work together as a team, and the federal government is one of the most important players. The goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 cannot be achieved without the right federal policy support. We are committed to working with Congress and federal agencies on shaping the right policies for a sustainable, long-term carbon neutral future.”
Concrete, made with cement, is central to the American built environment, with around 260 million cubic yards of concrete used in the United States each year. The cement sector alone employs 600,000 people, providing high-wage jobs and supporting local communities across the country.
The visit comes as the need for sustainability in construction becomes more acute. The United States is expected to build the equivalent of New York City 20 times over between 2017 and 2050, and the passage of the IIJA will add another 46 million tons of cement to this construction boom. 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 and its members told Congress how the entire concrete value chain can continue to net neutrality—reducing emissions even as demand increases.
Ireland added, “Concrete is a resilient material that does not rust, rot, warp or burn—and is fully recyclable. It is the perfect material to future-proof our structures and buildings against climate uncertainty, and with lower-carbon blends entering the market, we will reduce CO2 emissions across the entire cement-concrete-construction value chain even as demand grows.”