On July 18, JB Brown, president of AFS Corporate Member Bremen Castings Inc., Bremen, Ind., testified before the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade at the hearing, “The President's Climate Action Plan: What Is the Impact on Small Businesses?” In late June, President Obama released his plan to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new and existing power plants, which includes imposing costly regulations on new and existing fossil-fuel power plants. The rules have not yet been finalized.
Brown testified the proposed rules “would place his company and the entire foundry industry at a substantial disadvantage to its foreign competitors and raise electricity costs.” He told the subcommittee coal-fired plants cannot be replaced overnight by natural gas plants and cannot quickly be replaced by alternative energy facilities. The time it takes to install pipeline and other infrastructure necessary to begin the conversion of an old plant or construction of a new one is considerable.
During his testimony, Brown highlighted the fact that metalcasting is an energy-intensive industry and the proposed rules will more adversely affect states such as Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Missouri, where more than 50 percent of their electricity is generated from coal-fired power plants. In Indiana more than 80 percent of electricity is generated from coal-fired power plants. Bremen Castings is a family-owned metalcasting facility with more than 250 employees producing a wide variety of gray and ductile iron castings.