New Bill to Boost Clean Energy Tech Through the DPA

New Bill to Boost Clean Energy Tech Through the DPA

Coming off President Biden’s announcement to engage the Defense Production Act (DPA) for the mining and processing of minerals needed for large-scale batteries, three members of Congress are introducing legislation through the act for clean energy technology like heat pumps, solar panels, and wind turbines. The Energy Security and Independence Act (ESIA), introduced by Reps. Cori Bush and Jason Crow and Sen. Bernie Sanders, aims to "take on the climate crisis, reduce our dependence on petrostates fueling war, create good-paying, union jobs, and ease the cost burden on American families,” according to a summary from Bush's office.

Bloomberg: Biden Invokes Cold War Powers to Boost EV Battery Production, March 31, 2022.

Why This Matters

President Biden’s recent invocation of the DPA to mine and process the minerals needed to make batteries marks a positive, proactively use of the act for climate solutions. More and more, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has been using the act to provide materials and services to communities hit by extreme weather events, according to a 2020 report from Climatewire by E&E News.

The ESIA would be an opportunity to scale up clean energy technology. Using the DPA, the President could provide the funding support "for domestic supply chains for heat pumps, solar panels, wind turbines and other technologies crucial to the nation's transition to clean energy,” reports the Washington Post. And time is of the essence, as the latest IPCC report lays out, we’re in a "now or never” moment to move to slash carbon.

CBS: New UN climate report says "it's now or never" to limit global warming, April 4, 2022.

Breaking Down the Details

The bill would help secure America’s energy independence by investing $100 billion for manufacturing clean energy technology via the DPA for is just one part of the ESIA. It also proposes the creation of a Domestic Renewable Energy Industrial Base Task Force. Its duties would include coordinating a transition to 100% renewable energy across environmental justice communities, manufacturers, scientists, engineers, planners, and labor unions.

If the bill were to pass, $10 billion in loans and grants would be allocated to bolster the domestic renewable energy system and component manufacturing supply chain. Over the next decade, it would also aim to spend $30 billion weatherizing and insulating 6.4 million homes. And finally, the ESIA would invest $10 billion for millions of heat pumps, drastically reducing fossil fuels consumption.

"We see with Russia the risks of relying on autocrats and dictators for our energy,” Crow said. "And we know that the climate crisis is actually the biggest national security threat that we face in the long term.”

TODAY: Off-Shore Wind Farms Provide Promising Roadmap For More Clean Energy, September 19, 2021.

WW0: Heather Zichal and Amanda Little WW0 Facebook Live conversation, February 18, 2021.