President Joe Biden’s recent decision to funnel taxpayer money into electric heat pump manufacturing, using the Defense Production Act (DPA) of 1950, is a blatant abuse of presidential power and a clear case of corporate welfare. This move, touted as part of the administration’s “Investing in America Agenda,” is a misguided attempt to phase out gas-powered furnaces, and experts are rightly calling it out.
The Dept. of Energy (DOE) announced a staggering $169 million allocation for projects aimed at boosting electric heat pump production across 15 sites across the nation. Biden’s use of the DPA – a Cold War-era law – to support this agenda is a worrying precedent. The DOE is justifying this under the guise of “emergency authority” for “climate change,” claiming it falls under “national security” by reducing reliance on foreign adversaries. This is nothing short of twisting the law’s intent to fit a political agenda.
This so-called “historic” funding is being channeled to multinational corporations like Copeland, Honeywell International, Mitsubishi Electric, and York International Corporation – all billion-dollar entities. The administration is hailing this as a job creation strategy and a necessary step to combat the so-called climate change “crisis.”
Energy Sec. Jennifer Granholm and Biden’s senior advisor for Clean Energy Innovation, John Podesta, are painting this as a victory for manufacturing and clean energy technologies. Ali Zaidi, Biden’s national climate advisor, even claims that Biden is wielding his “wartime emergency powers” under the DPA to bolster U.S. manufacturing of certain clean technologies.
However, experts outside the administration’s echo chamber are slamming this move, which follows closely on the heels of the DOE’s new regulations targeting traditional home gas furnaces. Ben Lieberman from the Competitive Enterprise Institute lambasted the decision as “shameful corporate welfare” under the pretext of climate change. Lieberman emphasizes that consumer choice should drive the market, not government intervention favoring one energy source over another.
American Gas Association President Karen Harbert also criticized the use of the DPA for advancing a policy agenda, noting natural gas’s significant role in reducing CO2 emissions and ensuring energy system resilience. This misuse of the DPA, she argues, undermines a vital tool for emissions reductions.
Even lawmakers like Rep. Erin Houchin are voicing concerns, labeling Biden’s move as “irresponsible and dangerous.” This scenario illustrates a worrying trend where the Biden administration is willing to exploit emergency powers and taxpayer funds to advance its political objectives, disregarding the actual purpose of laws like the DPA and the broader implications for market freedom and energy independence.
Author: Blake Ambrose