(The Center Square) – President Joe Biden is using wartime emergency powers under a law created in response to the Korean War and primarily cited as to fight terrorism to spend more money on electric heat pump manufacturing due to climate change.
Biden recently announced the U.S. Department of Energy is spending $169 million on nine projects involving electric heat pump manufacturing.
The U.S. Department of Energy stated the spending was authorized when Biden invoked using emergency authority “on the basis of climate change.”
“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,” Biden’s National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi said in a media release.
According to a Congressional Research Office Oct. 6 review of the law, the Defense Production Act was passed in 1950 in response to the Korean War and based on the War Powers Act of World War II. The law has been reauthorized and modified more than 50 times since 1950, most recently in 2018.
But Congress has expanded the scope of the law over time and it may also be used in response to “natural hazards, terrorist attacks and other national emergencies,” according to the Congressional Research Office.
The Defense Production Act gives Biden the authority to require corporations and private citizens to “prioritize and accept contracts for materials and services” to promote national defense, according to the Congressional Research Office. It also allows him to block proposed “foreign corporate mergers, acquisitions or takeovers” that threaten national security.
Former President Donald Trump used a “range of DPA powers” in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Council on Foreign Relations. Trump ordered General Motors to produce ventilators and 3M to make respirator masks for the federal government and issued an executive order under the Defense Production Act to prevent “hoarding of essential supplies,” according to the Council on Foreign Relations.
In June, U.S. Senate Republicans introduced legislation that would restrict Biden from declaring climate change as a national emergency.
“The Biden administration has repeatedly governed by executive overreach when it comes to energy and environmental regulations, ignoring the law and doing so without congressional approval,” U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said in a media release. “These regulations have made us less energy independent, led to higher prices for consumers, and created uncertainty for employers and workers across the country.”