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This week we’re commending three US automakers (Ford, GM and Rivian) and a number of other companies that wrote to the Department of Energy (DOE) to call for US federal investment in clean primary aluminum.

As buyers of primary aluminum, these companies want to see a better domestic supply, and they are asking the DOE to invest in the necessary infrastructure via funds available from the Inflation Reduction Act.

Aluminum production in the US has been declining since the early 2000s, largely because aluminum is a very energy-intensive material to produce, and the US has relatively high energy costs compared to other countries where aluminum production is expanding. These companies want to see a revitalization of the US aluminum industry, which according to them means the DOE should:

“Prioritize decarbonization of primary aluminum, and the deployment of low-cost carbon-free energy that the industry critically needs to produce clean aluminum as you implement the Inflation Reduction Act.”

Decarbonizing aluminum production in the US would lower costs for industries like the auto industry, and allow the US to compete in a global environment where demand for aluminum is projected to skyrocket. It’s a triple win for US industry and consumers: decarbonizing aluminum production would create jobs, lower prices for consumer goods, and protect the climate at the same time. 

Thank you to the automakers and companies from Pepsi to Sunpower that are leading on this critical issue. Companies that are big consumers of materials like steel and aluminum have a huge opportunity right now to influence the decarbonization of heavy industry, and this is exactly the type of leadership we love to see.