On March 31, 2022, President Joseph Biden issued Presidential Determination No. 2022-11 invoking the Defense Production Act of 1950 (DPA) to ensure a sufficient and sustainable domestic industrial base for the production of large-capacity batteries. Stating that the United States “depends on unreliable foreign sources for many of the strategic and critical materials necessary for the clean energy transition – such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, graphite, and manganese for large-capacity batteries,” President Biden directed the Secretary of Defense to address this concern as essential to the national defense.
The Secretary of Defense is tasked by the determination “to create, maintain, protect, expand, or restore sustainable and responsible domestic production capabilities of such strategic and critical materials by supporting feasibility studies for mature mining, beneficiation, and value-added processing projects; by-product and co-product production at existing mining, mine waste reclamation, and other industrial facilities; mining, beneficiation, and value-added processing modernization to increase productivity, environmental sustainability, and workforce safety.” In addition, the Secretary of Defense will conduct a survey of the domestic industrial base for the mining, beneficiation, and value-added processing of strategic and critical materials used in the production of large-capacity batteries for the automotive, e-mobility, and stationary storage sectors. The results of this survey will be reported annually to the president and Congress.
The Department of Defense released a press statement indicating that it will continue “to work with key stakeholders to use DPA Title III authorities to address risks and challenges across supply chains for large-capacity batteries. These authorities expand options and opportunities to accelerate and scale critical investments across key markets.”