In a move the White House claims would advance national security and prompt energy solutions, the Biden administration announced its deployment of the Defense Production Act to bolster the manufacturing of energy-efficient heating and cooling technology.
Specifically, the administration focuses on heat pumps because they wish to ban gas furnaces.
The Defense Production Act provides the president with the authority to mobilize specific industries in the interest of national security. In this case, the administration argues that increasing the production of climate-friendly energy technology aligns with this goal. Giulia Siccardo, the director of the Energy Department’s Office of Manufacturing and Energy Supply Chains, revealed that $169 million in funding has been allocated to enable companies to establish factories dedicated to producing heat pumps.
These funds have been sourced from the Inflation Reduction Act, that was a government spending bill in disguise.
Utilizing the Defense Production Act streamlines the process of deploying funding and expanding manufacturing capacity swiftly. The expected outcome of these actions is the production of heat pumps to meet the heating and cooling needs of more than 300,000 homes across the nation.
Administration officials have framed this move as beneficial on multiple fronts.
However, the announcement has not been without controversy. The natural gas lobby expressed disappointment and concern, arguing that the move unfairly undermines the use of fossil fuels. Karen Harbert, President and CEO of the American Gas Association, voiced objections, asserting that the Defense Production Act, originally designed to bolster national security against external threats, is being wielded to advance a policy agenda that contradicts the nation’s energy position.
Additionally, is the measure even Constitutional? We aren’t at war and Biden is just using war powers at will. How far is he willing to go and what else could he ban?
The Biden administration appears to be making as many power grabs as possible rather than trying to pass bills through Congress.