Joe Biden invokes Defense Production Act for EV batteries and clean energy – TrendyNewsReporters

Joe Biden invokes Defense Production Act for EV batteries and clean energy

It could ramp up mining in the US

President Biden Announces Ban Of Russian Oil Imports Amid War In Ukraine
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 08: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on March 8, 2022, in Washington, DC. During his remarks, Biden announced a full ban on imports of Russian oil and energy products as an additional step in holding Russia accountable for its invasion of Ukraine.

The Biden administration plans to use the Defense Production Act (DPA) to ramp up the mining and processing of key minerals used in batteries for renewable energy and electric vehicles. That could include nickel, lithium, cobalt, graphite, and manganese, according to the White House fact sheet.

“The President is also reviewing potential further uses of DPA – in addition to minerals and materials, to secure safer, cleaner, and more resilient energy for America,” the fact sheet says.

Biden made the announcement as part of a broader set of actions aimed at addressing soaring energy prices. The move is also part of an immediate pivot away from Russian imports since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. And it serves the Biden administration’s long-term climate goals of slashing greenhouse gas emissions this decade and achieving a clean power grid by 2035.

The Defense Production Act allows the president to respond to a national emergency by requiring that companies prioritize federal contracts for whatever goods or materials it deems necessary. Biden has already invoked the act to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic with masks, tests, and vaccines.

This time, the act prioritizes the production of materials for batteries that are essential for cleaning up two of the biggest sources of climate pollution: transportation and the power grid. Batteries made with things like lithium and nickel power electric vehicles and store wind and solar energy.

Securing nickel in particular has become a bigger headache since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Earlier this year, the US added nickel to its official list of critical minerals. High-purity nickel is a key component of rechargeable batteries, and about 20 percent of the world’s nickel supply comes from Russia. The US has one high-grade nickel mine operating in Michigan that could run out of deposits by 2025, The Wall Street Journal reports.

But proposals to tap new deposits of nickel and other minerals deemed critical for the nation’s energy security and climate goals have some advocates on alert. “More than a century of reckless mining has poisoned the air, water, and land of too many communities, many of them Indigenous,” Lauren Pagel, policy director of the nonprofit Earthworks, said in a press release.

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