Sierra Club

09/26/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 09/27/2023 09:30

Sierra Club Responds to New Carbon Capture Pilot Project Between US Steel, Department of Energy

Sierra Club Responds to New Carbon Capture Pilot Project Between US Steel, Department of Energy

Heavy industry must also increase energy efficiency, switch to low-carbon fuels
September 26, 2023

Ginny Cleaveland, Deputy Press Secretary, Federal Communications, Sierra Club, [email protected], 415-508-8498 (Pacific Time)

PITTSBURGH - Last week, U.S. Steel Corporation announcedplans to test new carbon capture technology at its Edgar Thomson Plant in Pennsylvania, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. The 6-month project, which will use advanced membrane technology to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) from the plant's blast furnaces, is scheduled for 2025. U.S. Steel has a goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

This project is one of many driven forward by the federal government and works in concert with programs under the Inflation Reduction Act to clean up climate pollution in the economy. This decarbonization effort is particularly important in the industrial sector, which is responsible for about a quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. However, corporations in carbon-intensive industries have been slow to invest the time and resources in decarbonization because of concerns that their global competitors might grab a larger market share by continuing to use less-costly and more-polluting technologies.

In response to the announcement, Yong Kwon, Senior Policy Advisor with the Sierra Club, issued the following statement:

"Federal investments in the decarbonization of the industrial sector must be protected because they make possible what the market cannot deliver with appropriate urgency. Carbon capture technology is one important component of the steel industry's path to reducing emissions, but there are many other innovations that need to be deployed quickly and widely, and much more work lies ahead. The Department of Energy's 2022 industrial decarbonization roadmap anticipated two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the industrial sector can come from increasing energy efficiency and switching to low-carbon fuels. Carbon capture can help the industrial sector reach the final mile in its race to zero emissions, but it can't run the marathon."


A new Sierra Club report, database, and interactive mapdetails the greenhouse gas emissions intensity at every domestic facility in the US for four heavy industries (steel, cement, aluminum, and metallurgical coke).

The report, "Coming Clean on Industrial Emissions", revealed that the integrated steel mill with the highest on-site carbon emissions intensity emitted 2.15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per ton of steel in 2020, while its counterpart with the lowest intensity released 0.66. This means that even before the Department of Energy helps the steel industry develop novel technologies such as carbon capture, existing equipment and processes can be adopted by steel companies to reduce industry-wide emissions intensity.

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit

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