Powering Strong Communities

Biden Moves To Support Production Of Minerals, Materials For Large Capacity Batteries

The White House on March 31 said that President Biden would issue a directive authorizing the use of the Defense Production Act (DPA) to support the production and processing of minerals and materials -- such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese -- used for large capacity batteries .

The sectors supported by these large capacity batteries -- transportation and the power sectors -- account for more than half of our nation’s carbon emissions, the White House said in a fact sheet

“The President is also reviewing potential further uses of DPA -- in addition to minerals and materials -- to secure safer, cleaner, and more resilient energy for America,” the White House said.

On March 11, a group of Senators sent a letter to President Biden that urged him to invoke the DPA to rebuild the capacity of key sectors and value-chains by domestically producing and processing critical minerals, such as battery metals like lithium and graphite.

The letter was sent by senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jim Risch (R-ID) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

“We appreciate your issuance of Executive Order 14017 and the associated 100-day review that recognizes America’s ongoing supply chain crisis,” the senators said in the letter.

“We are committed to maintaining and strengthening our nation’s leadership and rebuilding our productive capacity in key sectors and value-chains. To do so, however, we must address our most vulnerable positions, and in no place are our supply chains more vulnerable than our lack of home-grown production and processing of rare earth and critical minerals,” they wrote.