Image Source: Joe Biden at the press conference after Day 2 of COP26 via Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain.

On June 6, President Joe Biden issued a “Presidential Determination” under Section 303 of the Defense Production Act to expand US production of heat pumps, declaring it a matter of national security. “Ensuring a robust, resilient, and sustainable domestic industrial base to meet the requirements of the clean energy economy is essential to our national security, a resilient energy sector, and the preservation of domestic critical infrastructure.” The Determination found:

Electric heat pumps are industrial resources, materials, or critical technology items essential to the national defense;


without Presidential action under section 303 of the Act, United States industry cannot reasonably be expected to provide the capability for the needed industrial resource, material, or critical technology item in a timely manner; and


purchases, purchase commitments, or other action pursuant to section 303 of the Act are the most cost effective, expedient, and practical alternative method for meeting the need.

“Action to expand the domestic production capability for electric heat pumps is necessary to avert an industrial resource or critical technology item shortfall that would severely impair national defense capability.”  — Memorandum on Presidential Determination Pursuant to Section 303 of the Defense Production Act of 1950, as amended, on Electric Heat Pumps.

The Presidential Determination follows a public campaign to persuade President Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act to produce heat pumps to reduce European dependence on – and payments for — Russian natural gas that is helping pay for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The June issue of Making a Living on a Living Planet published a letter and petition from 11-year-old activist Lillian Fortuna asking Biden to “immediately invoke the Defense Production Act to get American manufacturers to start producing electric heat pumps in quantity, so we can ship them to Europe where they can be installed in time to dramatically lessen Putin’s power.” She cited an article by Bill McKibben laying out how the Defense Production Act could be used to expand heat pump production to compensate for natural gas shortages and price increases in Europe, the US, and worldwide.

A child has led them – to produce climate-saving heat pumps!

Read Bill McKibben’s “Heat Pumps for Peace and Freedom” here.