President Joe Biden announced new actions Monday aimed at ensuring the stability of supply chains for products including those needed to boost renewable energy.
Biden convened many of his top officials at the White House for an inaugural meeting of a Council on Supply Chain Resilience, a group of agency leaders hoping to guard against the types of major supply chain disruptions that occurred due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The president unveiled dozens of new actions across the government aimed at securing supply chains for products including critical minerals, wind turbines and battery components that are central to the administration’s push to expand renewable energy and slash emissions.
“Before the pandemic, supply chains weren’t something most Americans thought about or talked about,” Biden said Monday at the White House. “But today, after years of delay in parts and products, everyone knows why supply chains are so important.”
The White House council includes Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, EPA Administrator Michael Regan, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other administration officials from across the federal government.
“I’m charging this group to ensure that our supply chains remain secure, diversified [and] resilient,” Biden said.
Among the new actions announced Monday is an Energy Department plan to invest $275 million in communities impacted by closures of coal mines or coal-fired power plants. Selected communities can receive grant funding for the production of critical materials, components of batteries or electric vehicles, onshore wind turbines or energy-conservation technologies, the White House said.
The Energy Department also announced up to $10 million in funding for a “critical material accelerator” and a $5.6-million prize to develop circular clean energy supply chains, according to the White House.
“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is driving the manufacturing boom while preserving the communities and workforce that have powered our nation for generations,” Granholm said in a statement.
The White House also announced a supply chain center at the Commerce Department, which is working with the Energy Department to conduct analyses of clean energy supplies.
The Energy Department is also developing an assessment tool to account for raw materials, manufacturing, workforce and logistics considerations, according to the White House.
At the Interior Department, the U.S. Geological Survey plans to map global critical product supply chains, with a focus on semiconductor components.
The National Science and Technology Council’s Critical Minerals Subcommittee plans to launch a new website in January to highlight cross-governmental supply chain efforts.
As part of the suite of new moves, the administration also said it will launch an interagency effort to monitor global developments related to El Niño, including its impact on commodity prices, agriculture and fishery output and disruptions to supply chains.
“I’m also directing my Cabinet to create an early-warning system that uses data to spot supply chains’ risks to our economic security, our national security, our energy security and our climate security,” Biden said Monday.
The White House council plans to launch a quadrennial supply chain review, the White House said, to assess sectors and products defined as critical to national or economic security. The first review is slated for completion by Dec. 31.