President Biden Invoking Defense Production Act for EV Battery Materials

by Joe Rutland
(Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

On Thursday, the Biden administration announced that President Biden will invoke the Defense Production Act for minerals for electric vehicle batteries. How is this done? It’s in the form of a directive, according to the White House.

What To Know

  • President Biden will invoke the Defense Production Act for electric vehicle batteries.
  • This is coming in the form of a directive.
  • Law allows the president to name specific minerals as a priority for production.

Defense Production Act Going Into Use For Batteries Production

What will happen? This directive “is specifically focused on the procurement of the tools needed to build batteries here in the United States.” These tools will go into electric vehicles batteries to “support a cleaner electricity grid.” This information comes from a senior administration official on Thursday morning. 

The White House said that President Biden will issue a directive. It will be for “authorizing the use of the Defense Production Act” to secure American production of critical materials. This is being done to bolster America’s clean energy economy. It will go toward “reducing our reliance on China and other countries for the minerals and materials that will power our clean energy future.”

This action comes in conjunction with a new release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, The Hill reports. In addition, the DPA will support “the production and processing of minerals and materials used for large-capacity batteries.”

Among these minerals are lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese. The Department of Defense “will implement this authority using strong environmental, labor, community, and tribal consultation standards.” This also is according to the White House.  

Law Allows President To Put Development of Certain Materials As Priority

Additionally, this law allows President Biden to name the development of certain materials as a priority for production. It would be in the national interest. He previously invoked this law. These moves boosted production of protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A source did tell The Hill that this order was coming as soon as this week. This law was first enacted by President Harry Truman during the Korean War.

As a result, the White House said it is exploring the possibility of further uses of the DPA. This is something to do to promote clean energy development. What are these uses? Well, it could be toward reducing reliance on foreign oil production as the Ukraine conflict drives price spikes.

The president’s order could help companies receive government funding. However, that would go toward feasibility studies on projects. Electric batteries for cars will be expedited thanks to these actions.