The 'Green'Jihad vs. U.S. Steel

Brandon J. Weichert27 Mar, 2024 3 Min Read
They won't be satisfied until we lose a major war.

The environmental lobby is pressuring America's ailing steel industry to embrace expensive "Greener" methods of production. Groups such as Industrious Labs and SteelWatch are part of the American Green Movement's jihad against U.S. steel production. Industrious Labs describes itself in the typical do-goodery language that has come to define Corporate America in the age of Corporate Social Responsibility.  According to the Industrious Labs' web page, the organization "exists to delivery unstoppable policies, people power, and analysis to drastically reduce dangerous emissions, hold industry accountable to communities and workers, and to develop a circular economy."

These groups are demanding that the steel industry to abandon its traditional blast furnaces (the basis of the steel-making process). The Greens want American steelmakers, like U.S. Steel, to embrace costlier "hydrogen injecting in blast furnaces" as well as "large-scale electric-arc furnaces." Because of this, U.S. Steel wants to sell itself to the Japanese steel conglomerate, Nippon Steel.

Ticketed for Tokyo?

The attempt by U.S. Steel to sell itself to Nippon Steel has evoked consternation from politicians belonging to both major parties in the United States. Senators John Fetterman (D-Pa.) and J.D. Vance (R-Ohio), have both argued that this move will harm American steel workers. Senator Vance also thinks it will jeopardize American national security by making the production of a strategic commodity dependent on a foreign power (even though Japan is an American ally).

So president Joe Biden has now found himself hoist by his own ideological petard. After all, one of the biggest bases of support for the Biden presidency comes from the environmental lobby. Yet, Biden and his team understand that steel is a critical national security asset. They, too, are uncomfortable leaving it in the hands of a foreign power. Biden has threatened to prevent the sale of U.S. Steel to Nippon.

Many Republicans are lining up behind Biden's threats against the sale. The GOP believes it will help protect the U.S. military's access to reliable, American-made steel products. Even if Biden is successful in blocking the sale of U.S. Steel to Nippon, it is unlikely that the president will prevent his radical environmentalist base from forcing the American steel industry into embracing Greener modes of steel production. What's more, Biden's own environmental lobby has said they'd be open to U.S. Steel being sold to a foreign company, so long as that company were committed to "electrifying" the steel production process.

Nippon Steel has already embraced many of the Green recommendations of Industrious Labs and SteelWatch. Nippon has built hydrogen-injecting in blast furnaces and large-scale electric arc furnaces in many of their steel plants. But the Greens are still unsatisfied. Industrious Labs asserts that such moves will lower Nippon's carbon footprint only by 50 percent in 2050. The Greens want Nippon's carbon footprint to be zero. But Nippon understands that these Green methods are costlier and will limit their company's ability to make profit. The environmentalists will never be satisfied.

Could it be "greener"?

In England, the British government imposed massive regulations on their steel industry which forced the British steel industry to downsize. As it shrank, that industry was no longer able to affordably meet the demands of the British military. This had the cumulative effect of weakening the British military. The same pattern is about to repeat for the U.S. military, at a time when the world is the most unstable it has been since the Cold War.

The Greens won't be happy until steel and any other essential commodity that they deem to be polluting is no longer in use -- even if there are no reliable replacements for these important commodities. Whether U.S. Steel is sold to Nippon Steel is less of an issue than the Green jihad against steel. It will drive the cost up and the availability of steel down, which is the real goal.

Steel is a building block of modern society and the modern military. The environmentalist Left is ridding the U.S. of it at a time when America's strategic rivals, Russia and China, are both ramping up their wartime industries. It's time to stop the Greens' war on steel before it defeats us in an actual war.

Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst. He is a Defense & National Security Reporter at the National Interest. In 2023, Weichert had a syndicated column at MSN. His writings have appeared at The Washington Times, Asia Times, The American Spectator, American Greatness, and He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower (Republic Book Publishers), Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (Encounter Books), and The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (Republic Book Publishers). His fourth book, A Disaster of Our Own Making: How the West Lost Ukraine is due out October 22, 2024, from Encounter Books. He can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.


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One comment on “The 'Green'Jihad vs. U.S. Steel”

  1. If I may nitpick your otherwise excellent artcile: "... Biden and his team understand that steel is a critical national security asset. They, too, are uncomfortable leaving it in the hands of a foreign power."
    Biden and his team (whoever they are) do not give a whit about our national security. They are only pandering for votes in Pennsylvania.

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