February 18, 2010
By DAVE MICHAELS
The Dallas Morning News
WASHINGTON – The cement industry is launching a late push to water down new regulations that would limit the amount of mercury and other hazardous pollutants emitted by their plants.
The industry argues that the proposal would result in higher cement prices, which would hamper government-funded stimulus investments in airports, highways, nuclear plants and wind farms. A study by Southern Methodist University says the rule would crimp new investment in plants over the next several years and result in more than 15,000 job losses. . .
Additionally, new environmental regulations would compel construction firms to use cheaper cement from abroad, SMU's Maguire Energy Institute concluded.
The SMU study says the number of jobs created by future stimulus programs – including legislation that has been proposed but not yet passed – could be 40 percent lower if materials such as cement come from abroad. The Portland Cement Association paid the institute $15,000 to perform the study, which will be discussed at a news conference today in Washington.
"We are trying to stimulate the economy by encouraging capital spending, and yet this rule may wind up increasing the cost of completing these projects," said Bernard Weinstein, associate director of the energy institute.
Read the full story.
Read the study or the study's executive summary.
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