In The NewsWhite House Watch

Biden Using ‘Wartime Emergency Powers’ To Force Production Of … Heat Pumps

President Joe Biden is using the Defense Production Act to deploy taxpayer dollars to boost production of a green appliance to facilitate his climate agenda, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced Friday.

Biden is using the law, in conjunction with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), to unleash $169 million through the DOE to subsidize nine heat pump manufacturing projects, according to the DOE. The Defense Production Act is typically invoked in times of war or national crisis to meet the challenges of the moment, and the Biden administration says explicitly that it views climate change as such an emergency.

“The president is using his wartime emergency powers under the Defense Production Act to turbocharge U.S. manufacturing of clean technologies and strengthen our energy security,” National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi said of the announcement. “This acceleration of electric heat pump manufacturing also shows how President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is advancing American innovation, cutting energy bills for hardworking families and tackling the climate crisis – a win, win for our economy, our workers and our planet.”

The White House first invoked the Defense Production Act to facilitate Biden’s climate agenda in June 2022, and Friday’s announcement marks the first deployment of funds under that authority. That initial authorization also included solar panels, transformers and electrical grid components, insulation, electrolyzers, fuel cells and platinum metals.

“We are deeply disappointed to see the Defense Production Act, which is intended as a vital tool for advancing national security against serious outside threats, being used as an instrument to advance a policy agenda contradictory to our nation’s strong energy position,” American Gas Association President and CEO Karen Harbert said of the announcement.

Heat pumps are considered to be more energy efficient than fossil fuel-powered alternatives, but they typically cost several thousand more dollars up front to install, according to Carbon Switch. The administration projects that heat pumps will save Americans money on energy costs, though recently-published data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that Americans who rely on electricity to heat their homes are due to pay significantly more this winter than those who use natural gas systems.

The administration and numerous state governors are pushing heat pumps as an alternative to home heating and cooling powered by fossil fuels or involving refrigerant chemicals thought to be harmful to the environment. Notably, the appliances are already subsidized with a consumer tax credit in the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden’s signature climate bill, according to the DOE.

The selected projects are anticipated to create 1,700 jobs in low-income areas, according to the DOE.

“Today’s Defense Production Act funds for heat pump manufacturing show that President Biden is treating climate change as the crisis it is,” John Podesta, who serves as the senior advisor to the president for clean energy innovation and implementation, said of the funding.

The White House referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to the DOE’s press release. The DOE did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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