The Chicago Journal

Defense Production Act Invoked, Brings Criticism to Biden’s Administration

Biden's Ukraine strategy the subject of several Liberal Democrats in a letter

President Joe Biden used his executive power on Monday to expedite solar panel production, drawing criticism from both journalists and Republicans who questioned why he would use special powers. However, renewable energy advocates were thrilled about the announcement that accelerated domestic technology.

It is not clear if the decision will have any near-time effect and it’s possible that this was just an unrelated coincidence.  The timing may be connected to record high fuel prices, but the White House did not address concerns over spikes at gas stations.

The White House has announced that it will be gathering key stakeholders to discuss the steps needed in order to maximize these dual-use technologies.

Reporter Edward Lawrence asked White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre about the rationale for invoking the DPA. “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.”

The press secretary told reporters 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,” she said of the import issue. “Import duties will remain in place on solar cells and panels from China or Taiwan.”

The Biden Administration failed to specify a national defense reason for the announcement despite answering questions.

Joe Biden was vice president during an administration that pushed for solar energy production. This led to the Solyndra scandal, where they unsuccessfully tried getting federal loan guarantees due to their politics-related company going bankrupt after receiving $535 million in funding,

The Defense Production Act has been used by the previous administration to force businesses into making ventilators and test swabs early in pandemic. Biden recently invoked it, sparking speculation that he would speed up production of baby formula if there are shortages.

Biden’s decision has caused Democrats to express their disapproval, which could influence corporate behavior through the threat of action.

Opinions expressed by The Chicago Journal contributors are their own.