Biden urged to unleash Defense Production Act to develop green energy rather than oil production

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gMany energy groups want President Joe Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act and build more renewable energy technologies in response to tight energy markets, ramping up liberal pressure on the White House to avoid approving fossil fuels as a solution to high prices.

More than 200 environmental and other liberal organizations have said they support Biden’s decision to ban imports of Russian fuel, a move intended to put a pinch in Moscow over protesting his war in Ukraine, but urged him to avoid “short-sighted policies” such as allowing more oil and gas production in the face of deteriorating energy prospects for American consumers.

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Instead, Biden should use the DPA, as he and former President Donald Trump did for ventilators and vaccines in response to COVID-19, to “address the climate emergency and prevent further suffering.” energy” associated with climate change by facilitating the production of more wind turbines and solar panels, heat pumps to replace gas appliances, and energy storage and weatherization technologies, they said.

“Putin’s ability to wreak such destruction in Ukraine is grounded in the global reliance on fossil fuels,” the groups, which include Greenpeace USA, the Center for Biological Diversity and the Sierra Club, said. said in a letter sent to Biden on Wednesday.

“Using the DPA and your other executive powers in this way will not only help Ukraine, the rest of Europe and the United States in the short term,” the letter states. “It will prevent future crises unleashed by oligarchs, strongmen, and the climate emergency, and position the United States as a global leader in the just and renewable energy transition that leaves no worker behind.”

Oil and other commodity prices have been high for months, but have soared since Russia invaded Ukraine, pushing the US national average gas price per gallon above $4.25 Wednesday, by AAA, a record in nominal terms.

Benchmark oil prices rose further on Tuesday in response to Biden’s decision to halt energy imports from Russia and settled above $130 a barrel for part of the trading session. Wednesday, although it is down nearly 12% from its opening price at the time of this report’s release.

For all of this, Biden has come under immense pressure from Republican lawmakers to encourage domestic oil and gas production, while pressuring his Green voters to do the exact opposite and stay the course on his promises. campaign to end the new leasing of public property. land for the extraction of fossil fuels.

Environmental groups, disappointed by continued approvals for drilling permits on federal lands and a now-defunct record sale of offshore leases, had pressured Biden to more aggressively check fossil fuel production and expand the country’s green energy portfolio before Russia’s invasion disrupted energy markets.

Natalie Mebane, senior director of climate solutions for The Wilderness Society, said following Biden’s State of the Union address last week that it’s time for the administration “to come up with a comprehensive plan to public lands that ensures they are part of the climate solution instead of contributing to the problem.

The administration has floated the idea that more wind, solar and other low-emission power sources are ultimately the answer to energy price volatility, but House officials Blanche and other members of the administration have said in recent days that increased production is needed at this time. to support markets.

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“I hope your investors say these words to you too: In this time of crisis, we need more supply,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Wednesday during remarks at a large energy conference in Houston. “Right now, we need oil and gas production to increase to meet current demand.”

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