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Commentary: The White House’s Infrastructure Goals Risk Disruption – By the White House

By Michael Ireland, Michael Johnson, Michael Philipps

Will Donald Trump win the 2024 election?

Commentary by Michael Ireland, Michael Johnson, and Michael Philipps originally published by RealClearEnergy and RealClearWire

For Americans to start seeing evidence of the Biden Administration’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) taking shape in their hometowns, the construction industry will need the building materials to do the work. But should a newly proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) particulate matter (PM) standard take effect in the next few weeks, those materials might not be readily available over the course of the next few years.

The actual proposed reduction may seem small, but it would be an enormous change if put into practice. Meeting this change would not only hurt local communities, but it would also thwart the Biden Administration’s flagship IIJA goals.

To comply with the lower standard, U.S. manufacturers may have to cut back hours of operation, which would lead to fewer construction materials being produced, potential layoffs at manufacturing plants and inevitable delays in construction.

In other words, if the Administration chooses to move forward with the new EPA standard, it could be hindering its own plan to revamp the nation’s infrastructurea $550 billion agenda — and the opportunities to provide building materials would be punted to the U.S. construction industry’s competitors overseas. The supplies in other countries would likely be ready and in abundance, as the U.S. enforces some of the strictest emissions regulations in the world, and America’s manufacturers follow them or are shut down.

Those in the nation’s construction industry do care and continue to take action to improve the environment and the air we breathe. For decades, the U.S. cement, concrete, and aggregates industries have spent millions on state-of-the-art technologies to adhere to EPA standards and yield more sustainable products.

Currently, the U.S. cement industry contributes only a 0.1% share of the PM emissions being targeted, and through the efforts of regulated industry and government officials, PM emissions have been reduced by 37% during the last two decades. This downward trend will continue through programs already on the books, including the PM standards EPA retained in 2020.

Our industries have invested heavily in efforts to make our products more sustainable because of one simple truth: we are aware of how much society depends on these materials essential in construction, and we know life would be completely disrupted without them. These materials are not frivolous or luxury items that only accommodate some of the population. They are not a fleeting architectural fad that is in vogue today and outdated tomorrow. They are likely the foundation of the home or building where you currently sit, the sidewalk under your feet, and the roads and bridges you rely on to get you where you need to go.

For centuries, U.S. construction materials have proven to be resilient, reliable, and strong. We checked those boxes long ago. This is why our industries are focusing now, more than ever, on making them more sustainable.

The IIJA promises $550 billion in construction projects by 2026, which means manufacturers will need to supply tens of millions of tons of their products for those projects to happen. If anything, there is a need for greater investment in U.S. building material production capabilities.

The nation’s manufacturers are well-regulated. They have been for decades. Costly new regulations would negatively impact the U.S. construction industry, ramp up sales in the U.S. for foreign competitors, and we would all witness the same presidential administration that worked so steadfastly to champion the IIJA become the very administration to stifle it.
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­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­This article was originally published by RealClearEnergy and made available via RealClearWire.

Michael Ireland is President and CEO, Portland Cement Association.
Michael Johnson is President and CEO, National Stone Sand and Gravel Association.
Michael Philipps is President, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with CloutHub.com, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a BlazeTV.com host, Outreach Director with FreedomWorks.org overseeing its Empower.org outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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