The Biden administration, day by day, not only seems to have less regard for the rule of law but seems now to have just abandoned any pretense of such regard. In an ongoing crackdown on natural gas and oil-fired home heating, last Friday, the administration invoked the 1950 Defense Production Act to push for funding of green energy technologies. Specifically, the administration has called for electric heat pumps for home heating.
In a joint announcement with the White House, the Department of Energy (DOE) said the federal government would award a "historic" $169 million for nine projects across 15 sites nationwide in an effort to accelerate electric heat pump manufacturing. The significant level of funding was made possible after Biden utilized the 1950 Defense Production Act (DPA) to increase domestic production of green energy technologies.
"Getting more American-made electric heat pumps on the market will help families and businesses save money with efficient heating and cooling technology," said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. "These investments will create thousands of high-quality, good-paying manufacturing jobs and strengthen America’s energy supply chain, while creating healthier indoor spaces through home-grown clean energy technologies."
It's important to note that these "investments," which translates to "pouring millions of your taxpayer dollars down green energy sinkholes," almost never work out as planned.
But there's a bigger problem, and that is the wholly inappropriate, constitutionally unauthorized, and quite possibly illegal invoking of the 1950 Defense Production Act. The first two "Declaration of Policy" statements read as follows:
(1) the vitality of the industrial and technology base of the United States is a foundation of national security that provides the industrial and technological capabilities employed to meet national defense requirements, in peacetime and in time of national emergency;
(2) in peacetime, the health of the industrial and technological base contributes to the technological superiority of United States defense equipment, which is a cornerstone of the national security strategy, and the efficiency with which defense equipment is developed and produced;
Note that wording: defense equipment. Defense requirements. As in military hardware and supplies. There is no allowance for the peacetime use of money appropriated under this act to fund peacetime production of questionable technology to be placed in the private dwellings of the citizenry.
There is, of course, some disagreement with the Biden administration's actions.
Under the actions announced Friday, the DOE will send millions of dollars to companies like Copeland, Honeywell International, Mitsubishi Electric and York International Corporation, all of which are billion-dollar multinational corporations. The projects will advance manufacturing of industrial, commercial and residential heat pump technology.
"This is absolutely shameful corporate welfare. But we're to believe that, because it's for the sake of climate change, all is well. I think that's ridiculous," Ben Lieberman, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, told Fox News Digital in an interview.
"Of all the Biden administration's claimed climate emergency declarations, this may be the craziest of them all," Lieberman continued. "There is no shortage of heat pumps — it's just that not every homeowner wants them. Consumers ought to decide for themselves. The government has no role in tilting the balance in favor of one energy source over another. That's clearly what's happening here."
And that's what has been happening for years now; the Obama Administration engaged in the same sort of shenanigans.
Let's be fair to The Big Guy now; it's very likely that he personally has very little idea of what's going on in his own administration. But even if he does, that doesn't excuse this blatant abuse of a seventy-year-old law meant to fund emergency funding for military equipment in wartime. The Democrats and the Green New Deal advocates like to run on about climate change being an "emergency," but even if we conceded that point — and I don't — the rule of law still applies. The executive branch is defined by, and, more importantly, confined by, the Constitution and by statutes duly passed by Congress. The Biden administration is playing fast and loose with those principles, the Constitution, and the law.
This can and should be addressed by the House of Representatives. All spending bills originate in the House, and all spending in effect must be authorized by the House. But while the House may have the votes to pass a budget appropriation prohibiting the use of money under the 1950 Defense Appropriations Act for peacetime "green energy" production, such a bill won't make it through the current Senate.
Once again, the Biden administration is blatantly disregarding the law. And once again, we have to stand and put up with it. November of 2024 can't arrive fast enough.