|Climate Change Position|
The Industrial Minerals Association (IMA-NA) supports the national resolve to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. We support cooperative efforts to: conserve nonrenewable resources; develop cleaner and more efficient sources of energy; increase use of cogeneration and renewable energy; investigate new opportunities to sequester carbon; and improve processes that transform natural resources to manufactured goods. We believe these objectives can -and must -be achieved without undue harm to our economic standard of living.
To that end, IMA-NA supports voluntary government/industry programs such as the Administration's Climate VISION program, and encourages its members to participate in them. IMA-NA participates in Climate VISION through its soda ash and borates company members, which are well on their way to exceeding reduction goals in overall greenhouse gas emissions from fuel combustion per ton of product. This approach offers the possibility of achieving the environmental protection our nation requires without unacceptable damage to our national economy.
Legislative proposals that would feature mandated reduction levels for greenhouse gas emissions by industrial minerals producers should be evaluated closely to ensure that they would not have the effect of simply transferring these emissions to countries with more lenient emission standards. Congress must avoid enacting legislation in the name of environmental protection that would both: 1) fail to impact global greenhouse gas intensity levels; and 2) harm our nation's economy.
It is critical that our nation continue to maintain a vibrant industrial minerals industry. Domestically produced industrial minerals enjoy unique and beneficial characteristics, including the following:
• World class standards for product quality and environmental stewardship; • Sufficient reserves to sustain domestic production and export markets for decades to come; • Global markets for our products, despite strong competition from foreign producers particularly in developing countries that lack comparable environmental standards. In greenhouse gas efficiency our industrial minerals are superior to those developing countries with which we compete; and • Use of our products by downstream customers results in substantial further reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Examples include: 1) fiberglass insulation material using borates, soda ash, industrial sand and feldspar; 2) energy efficient glass for modern buildings; 3) catalytic cracking processes; 4) ceramic tiles using ball clay and talc; 5) paper-making processes using calcium carbonate and other minerals; 6) enhanced oil recovery using bentonite; and 7) plastics using mica and other mineral fillers.
IMA-NA stands ready to participate constructively in the national discussion regarding how to achieve our twin goals of greenhouse gas reduction and global competitiveness.