DPA Unlocked for the Green Transition

Todd N. Tucker
3 min readJun 8, 2022


This is a great set of announcements, rallying New Deal legacy authorities to meet the industrial and climate challenges of the present and future.

It helps deliver on some of what @USProgressives called for earlier this year — using executive authorities like the Defense Production Act to jumpstart the green transition.

For more on how these authorities work and their applicability to creating green jobs, see our @rooseveltinst brief from January. (rooseveltinstitute.org/publications/p…)

Also, there’s an attempt to lower some of the temperature (pun intended) on solar imports. Solar deployment need not be put into conflict with enforcing unfair trade laws. (whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/…)

The emergency is not a blanket one with respect to climate, but “with respect to the threats to the availability of sufficient electricity generation capacity to meet expected customer demand.” (whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/…)

Notes however that “The Department of Defense has recognized climate change as a threat to our national security.”

Impressive: pairing one thing domestic solar industry won’t like (limits on import duties, which weren’t leading to substantial reshoring) with one thing that will benefit them and lead to reshoring.

Waiving most process requirements to unlock full DPA. (whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/…)

Here’s similar actions on Electrolyzers, Fuel Cells, and Platinum Group Metals (whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/…)

Transformers and Electric Power Grid Components (whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/…)

Electric Heat Pumps.. (whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/…) And insulation. (whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/…)

Here is one of the strongest elements of Section 303 that just got unlocked for these industries: installation of equipment. The US could produce or procure inputs and gift them to domestic manufacturers.

We looked at how that could be used to boost green steel and solar production here. (rooseveltinstitute.org/2022/01/20/how…)

Here’s my/@rooseveltinst statement on today’s announcement on DPA, which has not been invoked in such a robust manner since the Korean War — if not World War II — and never for robust climate action. (rooseveltinstitute.org/2022/06/06/roo…)

One additional quirk of Monday’s announcements to note: the emergency invocation includes but is not limited to the Tariff Act of 1930.

As @BrennanCenter has documented, there is a wide range of potential powers that stem from emergency declarations, depending on the particulars. So additional justifications can potentially be added as specific DPA actions become contemplated. (brennancenter.org/our-work/resea…)

(Adapted from this Thread.)



Todd N. Tucker

Director, Industrial Policy & Trade, Roosevelt Institute / Roosevelt Forward. Teach, Johns Hopkins. PhD. Political scientist researching economic transitions.