Biden Promotes Progress on Solar —
Under Defense Production Act!
WASHINGTON (June 13, 2022) — We have good news. Two months ago, you contacted your representatives in Congress and asked them to support the request by Senator Sanders and Representatives Cori Bush and Jason Crow for President Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act to create a rapid transition to renewable energy. Last week Biden did just that, increasing investments in five green energy technologies (solar energy, heat pumps, insulation for buildings, hydrogen, and grid components) and waiving solar tariffs.
This is a solid start, but there’s more that must be done. Act now!
You might be wondering what the Defense Production Act is, so let us explain: Originally passed in 1950 in response to the Korean War, the DPA provides support for domestic production of materials deemed essential to national defense, which unfortunately has too seldom been translated into the peace and sustainability projects that meet human needs and prevent and end wars.
After the Cold War ended, there was a sharp reduction in defense spending. It created a peace dividend which then-President Clinton promised to invest in the workers and communities losing defense-oriented work.
Ultimately, an overwhelming majority of the dividend — around 81% — ended up going to reducing the federal deficit, and the federal government provided substantial subsidies to defense companies that aided them in reorienting their defense production. While this peace dividend did not fully succeed, this time could be different. It’s up to us to make it so!
A peace dividend is when a country shifts resources from war to social or economic programs after a conflict ends. Now that we have finally ended the U.S.’s longest war, rather than boosting the Pentagon again — as Biden is proposing for FY2023 — for the Ukraine war, the cold war with China, and new wars, we need a climate justice peace dividend for the people, planet, peace, and a future.
Sign the letter to President Biden now!
The climate crisis is worsening, and it’s starkly clear that an energy transition from fossil fuels to green energy is necessary both for a liveable future and to end our reliance on such oil-rich countries as Saudi Arabia.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Biden’s use of the Defense Production Act sets a precedent for using defense industrial policy to invest in sustainable, life-affirming sectors instead.
At a time when many Americans are struggling with inflation, debt, and the continued hardships caused by COVID, this move shows us what might be possible if we treat climate change like the urgent crisis it is while prioritizing the creation of sustainable, local manufacturing jobs.
There is a massive amount of resources, funding, and infrastructure that we can invest in peace, sustainability, and human needs – it is just a matter of shifting our priorities. Tell Biden #WarIsNotGreen. CUT THE PENTAGON and create a climate justice peace dividend for the people, planet, peace, and a future.
We Need a Peace Dividend. The Afghanistan War ended — but this year, Biden is asking for more money for war than ever before. We need to demand a climate justice-oriented peace dividend for the people, planet, and future!
Dear President Biden,
We need peace!
The Afghanistan War ended almost a year ago, in August 2021. Despite that, this year’s military budget was higher than last year’s; and the amount you have requested for FY 2023 is a record high. I am writing to request a reduction in your Pentagon top-line budget, with a significant amount allocated towards a climate justice peace dividend.
A peace dividend is when a country shifts federal funding from war to alternative economic and social programs after conflict ends. After the Cold War in the 1990s, President Clinton promised to move defense funds into a peace dividend for workers, communities, and non-defense industries.
You could follow in this powerful tradition of investing in local communities, not in war profiteers. The end of a war should represent a time of decreased military spending and increased spending on our communities. This is more true now than ever before, as the climate crisis worsens and Americans continue to struggle with inflation and debt.
Instead, even though the Afghanistan War ended last year, social spending decreased from FY2021 to FY2022, and we are turning to oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia to fulfill our reliance on fossil fuels.
Now is the time to institute a climate justice-oriented peace dividend, and move war funding to environmental and social programs.
I want to thank you for invoking the Defense Production Act to support the development of our domestic green energy industry. I believe that this can be your administration’s first step in treating climate change with necessary urgency and building a robust, local, job-providing green economy.
ACTION: Join the Poor People’s Convergence in the Capitol on June 16-19
Sign up now to be part of the anti-militarism contingent of the Poor People’s Campaign and Moral March on Washington, June 16-19. Wear your message for peace and start the conversation!