Environmental groups have welcomed Joe Biden’s invocation of national security authorities for the rapid expansion of clean energy technology production as a major advance in efforts to curb dangerous climate collapse.
Biden Launch the Defense Production Acta Cold War-era law used to force companies to increase production of certain materials to support national security, and to increase production of solar panels, building insulation, and transformers for power grids and heat pumps, which are used for efficient heating and cooling role.
The US president also offered a two-year exemption to solar panel companies from tariffs on imported parts, facilitating the flow of technology from China and other countries for use in the United States, the country where only 2.8% Of the electricity comes from solar energy.
Climate activists praised the steps that pressured Biden to use his expanded presidential powers to tackle the climate crisis. Activists have harshly criticized the president in recent months over the continued failure to pass key climate legislation through the evenly divided Senate, as well as Biden’s calls for boosting oil production to offset gasoline prices that have soared amid the war in Ukraine.
“We are in a climate emergency, and we can only meet it when our government steps forward and launches a World War II-wide campaign for a fair transition to renewable energy,” said Varshini Prakash, executive director of the youth-led Sunrise Movement. . “This is a fantastic move by management, and we urgently hope to see more significant executive action follow.”
Biden refused to declare a climate emergency, as has happened in countries like the United Kingdom, or to institute a phase-out of fossil fuels. But his administration said using the National Security Forces to create a “stronger clean energy arsenal” was evidence of “bold action to build an American-made clean energy future.”
Using the Defense Production Act would allow the US Department of Energy to invest in companies that can build renewable energy facilities and manufacture parts for technology such as solar panels. The administration expects domestic solar manufacturing to triple by 2024, allowing more than 3.3 million homes each year to switch to solar power.
Switching to cleaner sources of electricity would also help guard against energy bill fluctuations and provide efficiency for households, proponents say — heat pumps, for example, can save homes $1,000 a year on space heating alone. The administration has also sought to stress the benefits of separating the United States from supplies of fossil fuels from countries such as Russia. He said, “Reducing America’s dependence on gas and oil is critical to the national security of the United States.” Kathleen Hicks, Deputy Secretary of Defense.
Jan Su, director of energy justice at the Center for Biological Diversity, said Biden’s recent actions represented a “tremendous change at sea” in his approach to addressing the climate crisis.
“Biden’s executive moves are providing critical impetus to the needed transition to solar energy,” Su said. “We hope this use of the Defense Production Act will be a turning point for the president, who should use all of his executive powers to tackle the climate emergency head-on.”
Scientists have said the world must cut the planet’s greenhouse emissions in half this decade, and line them up completely by 2050, to avoid more heat waves, floods, droughts and other devastating climate impacts.
Biden, who shares this goal, will not be able to achieve it, despite operational actions alone. The United States has never passed major legislation on climate change, and the president’s attempts to do so were aborted by Joe Manchin, the pro-coal Democrat who was a likely vote in the Senate. It is unclear whether any climate bill will be able to succeed before the November midterm elections, which are expected to deny Democrats control in Congress.