Although there is good evidence that the steel industry produced, serious shortages of this essential material have been a recurring problem in many sections of the country during recent months, and there seem to be almost as many plausible explanations as there are examples of the phenomenon. Supplies of foreign rebar, once plentiful in coastal market areas, are said know to be virtually nonexistent, at least in part because of dollar devaluation. Where prices of foreign rebar once ran as much as $30 per ton cheaper than the domestic product, the sharply reduced amounts which now enter the United States market may cost as much as $150 per ton more than domestic bars. It doesn't seem realistic to hope that the steel industry will mount an immediate all-out effort to relieve matters by building new steel mills, although in the long run this is probably the only definite solution offering any guarantee of success. Of 41 major industries listed int eh most recent annual repot of the First National Bank of New Your, the steel industry ranked forty-first in terms of return on investment. It seems unlikely that investors will stampede to help finance more steel mills until the profit outlook has improved. So what can be done? Perhaps the quickest and surest way to get more steel to the market place would be to ease off for a while on ecological standards. A fair amount of steel to the market place would be to ease off for a while on ecological standards. A fair amount of steel making capacity is standing idle at the moment because of the enforcement of emission standards which were undreamed of when the plants were built. Many of these facilities could be returned to production within a few months. This step alone, however, might not provide any immediate relief to users of reinforcing steel. Under the existing price controls the production of rebar is bound to suffer just as long as other and more profitable forms of steel are in strong demand. Only the removal of price ceilings can, though the restoration of normal supply and demand relationships, assure that rebar production will reagin some priority in the future scheduling of rolling mills.