Van Hollen, Merkley and colleagues sound the alarm on the climate crisis in a letter asking for appropriate funds to support President Biden’s use of the Defense Production Act

July 27, 2022

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) sent a letter to Senate Energy and Water Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D- California), asking the committee to support President Biden’s use of the Defense Production Act strengthen the solar panel supply chain in the United States by including financing where possible in the Energy and Water Credit Bill for fiscal year (FY) 2023.

“Making the components and building the supply chains to power the transition to a clean energy economy will protect America’s national security, including averting the worst impacts of the climate crisis, while creating thousands of ‘high quality manufacturing jobs here in the United States’, write the lawmakers. “As the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recovery have demonstrated, reliance on foreign supply chains for essential goods threatens U.S. economic and national security. The release of these presidential decisions to “accelerate the domestic production of clean energy technologies” is an important step towards realizing this future. The House Energy and Water Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2023 proposes a significant investment of $100 million to meet this need.

“With these presidential decisions, President Biden has empowered the Department of Energy (DOE) to use the DPA to accelerate domestic production of key energy technologies, including: solar power; transformers and network components; heat pumps; insulation; electrolysers; fuel tanks; and platinum group metals, lawmakers continued.

Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Martin Heinrich ( DN.M.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jack Reed (DR.I.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker ( DN.J.) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.).

The full text of the letter is available here and follows below:

Dear President Feinstein,

We respectfully ask that you support Presidential Decisions 2022-15 through 19, issued pursuant to Section 303 of the Defense Production Act (DPA), by including funding where possible in the proposed Defense Production Act (DPA). energy and water credits for the 2023 financial year.

Manufacturing the components and building the supply chains to power the transition to a clean energy economy will protect America’s national security, including avoiding the worst impacts of the climate crisis, while creating thousands of high-quality manufacturing jobs here in the United States. As the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent recovery have demonstrated, depending on foreign supply chains for essential goods threatens U.S. economic and national security. The release of these presidential decisions to “accelerate the domestic production of clean energy technologies” is an important step towards realizing this future. The House Energy and Water Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2023 proposes a significant investment of $100 million to meet this need.

As President Biden has stated, the lack of domestic renewable energy manufacturing prevents “consumers from accessing cost-saving clean energy options, adds risk to our electric grid, and stalls national projects.” clean energy building projects that are essential to tackling the climate crisis.” With these presidential rulings, President Biden empowered the Department of Energy (DOE) to use the DPA to accelerate domestic production of key energy technologies, including: solar power; transformers and network components; heat pumps; insulation; electrolysers; fuel tanks; and platinum group metals.

Not so long ago, the United States was the world leader in solar manufacturing, but we have allowed China, which is investing heavily in its own manufacturing, to corner the market for solar modules and components. of the supply chain. This has cut U.S. manufacturing capacity well below domestic solar demand, forcing us to depend on China for our solar needs, even though China is well documented to use unfair trade practices, including forced labor. in some parts of the country. The DPA can help American companies reestablish themselves as leaders in solar manufacturing and other technologies critical to the clean energy transition, but only if Congress provides the DOE with the funds to use it.

We urge you to support President Biden’s presidential decisions by allocating funds where possible in the Fiscal Year 2023 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill so that the DOE can effectively use the powers delegated to it under the DPA.

Sincerely,



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