Environmental groups launched a nationwide campaign in Charlotte calling on steel makers to stop using electricity generated by burning fossil fuels. The lead target of the "Stainless" clean energy campaign is Charlotte-based Nucor. Nucor is the largest U.S. steelmaker and has pioneered in the use of electric arc furnaces.
Margaret Hansbrough, of the group Mighty Earth, is leading the campaign and argued that the change would help Nucor's business.
"They have a huge opportunity to transition those local electric grids and be an advocate," Hansbrough said after the campaign launch at BirdSong Brewing Company, on North Davidson Street. "From a business perspective have cheap, reliable, predictable clean energy and really be able to brand themselves as the lowest carbon steel in the world."
June Blotnick of Clean Air Carolina and city council member Dimple Ajmera also spoke at the event. Ajmera said the campaign is in line with the city's goal of eliminating carbon emissions by 2030.
Hansbrough said the campaign is urging Nucor to join other large companies like Amazon, Apple and Facebook in purchasing contracts for solar or wind power.
Hansbrough said Mighty Earth contacted Nucor about the idea, but the company hasn't responded.