In the first major move in the Trump administration’s plan to clean up the nation’s air, President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he’s ordering the Department of the Interior to start testing new and cheaper metal anodes for aluminum, copper, and zinc.
“This will help us keep the lights on in America,” Trump said at a White House ceremony announcing the order.
“Metal anodes are a big part of our electrical grid, but it’s been decades since we’ve had a program to make a material more efficient,” he added.
“Now is the time to bring it back to life.”
The move is the latest in Trump’s efforts to clean the air in the wake of the massive wildfires that hit the United States and the world last week.
“Our country is suffering and our environment is devastated,” Trump declared in his speech Wednesday.
“We must take action to keep America safe.
And with the help of this new technology, we can finally make that happen.”
The announcement comes amid a federal program to test a new, cheaper metal oxide process called autoclave-assisted metal oxide manufacturing, or “autoclave.”
The metal oxide that the federal government is testing comes from a process known as metal-to-metal anode conversion.
The process uses the reaction of metal ions to form the metal anode, which is then used to make metal oxide.
Trump announced that the new process would help the country reduce CO2 emissions by more than 40 percent.
“The Department of Interior will begin testing new, less expensive anodes, such as a low-cost metal oxide anode with superior chemical and mechanical properties for metal anodic and corrosion reduction, to meet the challenges of our time,” said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a statement.
“Through this effort, the President has created a pathway for the future that can create thousands of jobs.”
Trump has long said he wants to bring back the once-common process for making metal oxide, but that process is much more expensive than the one being used now.
While the process can be more economical than traditional metal anoils, it can take more than 20 years to produce enough anodes to produce a single kilogram of aluminum, according to the Department for Energy.
Trump’s order also directs the Interior Department to start working with industry to develop a process that will make aluminum and copper more efficient, according the announcement.
Trump also said the department would be working with “other nations to develop alternative metal oxide production techniques.”
“This new process will help the United State keep the light on in the world and protect America’s environment,” Zinke said.
“Together, we will achieve a future that is brighter, cleaner, and more prosperous.”