NEW REPORT: Leveraging the Defense Production Act for a Modern American Industrial Strategy

One Year Ago Biden Tapped Into the DPA—But There's Still Tremendous Potential Available to Support American Manufacturing & President Biden’s Climate & Clean Energy Goals

Today, Evergreen Action released “Defending the Climate: Using the Defense Production Act to Mobilize American Clean Energy Manufacturing,” a new report detailing how President Biden can utilize four major powers under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to strengthen American manufacturing and advance a rapid transition to a clean economy. 

One year ago, in June 2022, President Biden invoked the DPA to support the production of several key clean energy technologies. The president’s actions under the DPA demonstrated his commitment to reinvigorating domestic manufacturing for the clean energy transition, but his orders leveraged only one section of the DPA for those purposes. Evergreen has identified a suite of other tools available under the DPA with the potential to galvanize domestic manufacturing, strengthen the president’s green industrial strategy, and help drive toward his climate and clean energy goals. President Biden committed to a whole-of-government approach to combating the climate crisis—and that means taking advantage of every available executive authority, including the DPA.

Read the full policy report here.

“President Biden ran and won on a whole-of-government approach to defeating the climate crisis,” said Evergreen Action Policy Lead for Industry & Workforce Trevor Dolan. “The DPA offers President Biden tremendous potential to build on his already historic climate and clean energy momentum. The DPA clearly states that maintaining clean energy supplies is a national defense imperative—and offers a number of powerful tools to strengthen domestic clean energy supply chains. The DPA offers President Biden another opportunity to invest in frontline communities and ensure the creation of good union jobs in domestic clean energy manufacturing. The climate crisis poses the existential threat of our time, and President Biden can use the powers contained in the DPA not just to defend us but also to put up our best offensive yet.”

President Biden has included only a few applications of the DPA in his suite of executive actions on climate, but several other authorities warrant closer consideration for a truly ambitious strategy. Evergreen’s new policy report digs deeper into these authorities and details opportunities for President Biden to enshrine environmental justice and high-road labor standards in his green industrial strategy, including:

  • Meeting Short-Term Needs
    • Priority Purchasing - Allows federal agencies to place priority contracts to gain first access to supplies and equipment, an authority that could reshape supply chains and aid in climate disaster recovery.
    • Allocations - A tool for influencing the flow of critical materials, allowing the administration to support new manufacturing capacity and decarbonize the factories producing clean technologies.
  • Supporting Long-Term Industrial Planning
    • Voluntary Agreements - A unique legal mechanism for convening industry, labor, and environmental justice advocates to coordinate federal investments in new clean energy manufacturing capacity and ensure equity in the clean energy transition.
    • Industry Studies - Offers federal supply chain analysts unprecedented insight into clean energy supply chains and the power to subpoena data from industry firms.
  • Prioritizing Justice in America’s Industrial Strategy
    • Defending Overburdened Communities - Guidelines for President Biden to implement the DPA to advance environmental justice.
    • Supporting American Labor - Details on how DPA implementation can uphold President Biden’s commitment to creating good union jobs in the clean energy transition.

You can read Evergreen’s full policy report here.