In a move to expedite solar panel production, President Joe Biden has drawn criticism from journalists and Republicans alike for using special wartime powers. But on the other hand, renewable energy advocates are cheering this announcement because it speeds up domestic manufacturing of clean technologies.
It is unclear if the decision will have a near-time effect and if the timing connects to the hiking fuel prices. The White House did not bring up the topic either.
The White House has announced that they will be gathering key stakeholders to discuss the steps needed for maximizing DPA tools.
Fox Business reporter Edward Lawrence asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the rationale for Biden’s decision. “What’s the real emergency in the solar industry for the Defense Production Act?” he asked at the regular briefing.
“The president, when he takes the Defense Production Act, it’s to make sure that he’s delivering for the American people. It is an important tool that he has used a couple of times and has been incredibly effective,” replied Jean-Pierre. “He is invoking the Defense Production Act to rapidly expand domestic production of solar panel parts, building insulation, heat pumps, and more.”
Karine Jean-Pierre explained that Biden “is putting the full force of the federal government’s purchasing power behind supporting American clean energy manufacturers, and he is providing US solar employers the short-term stability they need to build clean energy projects and deliver more affordable energy.”
“These actions do not apply to any materials imported from China,” Jean-Pierre responded to another reporter’s question. “Import duties will remain in place on solar cells and panels from China or Taiwan.”
The Biden administration was asked for the national-defense reason behind their announcement but failed to provide any details.
When Biden was vice president, Obama’s administration pushed for solar energy production. This led to the Solyndra scandal where a politically-affiliated company went bankrupt after getting $535 million in federal loan guarantees.
Biden recently invoked the Defense Production Act during Trump’s administration, possibly to speed up production of baby formula in order alleviate shortages.
Biden’s decision has caused a stir among Democrats, who are expressing their disappointment.