STATEMENT: Roosevelt Institute Industrial Policy Director Responds to Biden Administration’s Executive Action Invoking the Defense Production Act to Jumpstart Our Clean Energy Transition

Todd Tucker reflects on this historic announcement and what it signals about the role of the public sector in fighting climate change.

June 6, 2022
Alice Janigro
(212) 444-9130

NEW YORK, NY — Today, the Biden administration made an unprecedented announcement declaring an emergency for electricity supply and unleashing the powers of the Defense Production Act (DPA) of 1950 to help build the green industries of the future.  

Powers similar to those authorized by the DPA have been on the books since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, but they have not been invoked in such a robust manner since the Korean War—if not World War II—and never for robust climate action. This announcement signals that the public sector has a vital role to play in solving collective problems through substantial investment and through steering and structuring markets. 

In response to this news, Todd Tucker, Roosevelt Director of Industrial Policy and Trade, shares the following reflection: 

“For decades, policymakers have put their faith in markets and multinational corporations. The result has been the offshoring of industries like solar that are needed for the green transition, putting the public in dangerous dependence on sources like China. Today’s invocation of the Defense Production Act represents a historic acknowledgement of the climate crisis by the federal government, and a fundamental pivot by the United States toward a clean energy transition that creates good jobs here at home.” 

The federal government must continue to use all levers of public power to serve the public good. 

You can learn more about how DPA powers can be utilized to this end in Tucker’s previous analysis.