President Biden Invokes Defense Production Act to Boost Clean Energy Manufacturing

U.S. President Joe Biden arrives on the South Lawn of the White House on June 5, 2022 in Washington, DC.

U.S. President Joe Biden arrives on the South Lawn of the White House on June 5, 2022 in Washington, DC. Al Drago/Getty Images

Defense officials said invoking the act would reduce reliance on foreign powers for energy resources.

President Joe Biden invoked the Defense Production Act Monday in an effort to beef up clean energy manufacturing, lower energy costs for American families and improve national security through reduced reliance on foreign counterparts for gas and oil.

“President Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act so that the U.S. can take ownership of its clean energy independence,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm said in a statement. “For too long the nation’s clean energy supply chain has been over-reliant on foreign sources and adversarial nations. With the new DPA authority, DOE can help strengthen domestic solar, heat pump and grid manufacturing industries while fortifying America’s economic security and creating good-paying jobs, and lowering utility costs along the way.”

Authorities under the Defense Production Act—when combined with funds appropriated by Congress—will allow the federal government to invest in companies that specialize in clean energy technologies. President Biden’s announcement calls out five specific energy technologies: solar power, transformers and grid components, heat pumps, insulation and electrolyzers, fuel cells and platinum group metals.

The announcement suggests that global demand for these technologies “is set to skyrocket 400-600% over the next several decades.” In addition, reliance on foreign powers for gas, oil and emerging energy technologies would threaten national security, according to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks.

“Reducing America’s dependence on gas and oil is critical to U.S. national security,” Hicks said in a statement. “In conflict, fossil fuel supply lines are especially vulnerable. The actions President Biden announced today will help strengthen our supply chains and ensure that the United States is a leader in producing the energy technologies that are essential to our future success. They will also help accelerate DoD’s transition toward clean energy technologies that can help strengthen military capability while creating good jobs for American workers.”