A new initiative aims to reduce emissions from steel, cement, aluminum and other materials used in the industrial sector, which generates about a third of the nation’s greenhouse gases.
The industrial sector is responsible for about one-third of the greenhouse gases produced by the United States — pollution that is helping to heat the planet to dangerous levels. White House officials said they would use federal purchasing power to encourage the industrial sector to develop low-carbon alternatives.
A new Buy Clean Task Force will be created to ensure federal agencies buy construction materials that are manufactured in a way that produces fewer emissions. The Energy Department will spend $9.5 billion to encourage the commercial-scale development of clean hydrogen, a zero-carbon alternative to natural gas that is currently expensive and complicated to produce. The White House on Tuesday will also issue new guidance on deploying technology that can capture pollution from sources like smokestacks or from the air and then permanently store it.
“Focusing on industry is a really big deal,” David M. Hart, a public policy professor at George Mason University in Virginia, said. He said the federal government for years had “neglected” to address climate pollution from the industrial sector, as there was no single agency responsible for prodding manufacturers of steel, aluminum, cement and concrete to cut their emissions.