Steel Industry, Coal Industry, and the Cold Hard Reality

What is going on in the Steel Industry these days? It seems we have had some massive iron ore price spikes lately or is the market merely taking us back to where we should have been before the recession and prior to all that incredible consolidation we had a few years back now? Is it because the Global Economy is seeing new life, that large shipping companies are building more ships now, or China is cornering the market on steel and iron ore?

And why are we so darn hostile in the US towards coal mines with coking quality coal, such as those in West Virginia? With this latest coal mine disaster, we seem to be repeating the call for more regulations in the coal mining sector again. At a time when our US Steel industry just got a big break as China raised the price of steel. Why is the Administration, the environmentalists, and the labor unions all attacking our industrial base right now, this is the last thing we ought to do as our industrial base and manufacturing sector is digging itself out of a hard-hitting recession – I thought we wanted jobs?

Regarding the latest rounds of attacks on Steel Mills, well, yes if you are in the industry, I hear you, I just read an old article out of Scientific American today; “Steel Mini-Mills” May 1984 – and it’s not like we didn’t see any of this coming. We need steel for infrastructure projects, let’s make it here, let’s use our own iron ore and coking coal.

Now in the future, we will have new materials like carbon nano-tubes, etc, are 50 times stronger, and unbelievably light weight. But right now, let’s not be stupid with our policy or ram-rod our industrial base, that’s just suicide for our recovering economy right now. We should be working to get things rolling again, not trying to destroy what’s historically made this nation great.

When these new materials come online we can use them for nearly everything if we can do our own high-tech manufacturing without allowing those little nano-particles the ability to escape during the process. Still, we will need steel for some things, and remember WV needs to excavate some of that high-grade coal for the coking process.

If we lose all the steel plants, we also lose the WV, PA, coal mines (JOBS) and we will hurt our auto, heavy equipment, truck making, bridge building, construction, ship building sectors too. We are still a ways out of the carbon nano-tubes, but we are certainly getting there technologically speaking. Let’s not let liberal-socialist-environmental groups and petty politics stifle our growth and recovery. Seriously, let’s be smart about this.

You may email if you have a difference of opinion, but be prepared for an earful, and bring your best arguments, because I know what I am talking about, and I am not about to listen to nonsense on this issue, quite frankly – I really don’t care who you are. This country and our economy are more important than such shallow and petty arguments or talking points in this debate.