(by Marie Hawthorne | The Organic Prepper) – The Organic Prepper recently published an article on the activation of the Defense Production Act, a Korean War-era Act, in order to address infant formula shortages. On June 6, the White House announced another activation of the Act in order to address the looming energy crisis.
Congress originally enacted the DPA in 1950 to prioritize weapons manufacturing. It gives the government sweeping powers to manipulate markets, described in further detail in the above-referenced formula article.
We should never, ever have needed it for something as basic as infant formula, and we shouldn’t need it in terms of energy production.
The fact that this Act, originally intended for wartime munitions production, has been activated twice in the past month merits some scrutiny.
As stated in the previous Organic Prepper article, the formula shortage has been the result of over-regulation and industry consolidation.
The United States has more than enough resources for the production and distribution of infant formula. The problem has been bureaucratic incompetence. The same bloated government agencies that can’t seem to figure out how to have a resilient food supply for the nation’s tiniest, most helpless citizens have not managed the nation’s energy resources any better.
And unfortunately, the government’s intrusion into the private lives of its citizens will likely be even more damaging with the industry manipulation about to take place.
The Act allows for the rapid expansion of manufacturing of a variety of clean energy technologies. It is also being used to temporarily halt import tariffs on solar panels from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo stated, “As droughts cripple the West and Russia’s unwarranted invasion of Ukraine have placed increasing strains on America’s energy market, preventing disruptions to the electric power system, diversifying our energy sources, and responding to the climate crisis have never been more urgent, and solar energy is an essential component of meeting those needs.”
Let’s pick apart this statement.
Let’s look at Secretary Raimondo’s explanations behind our current, obvious energy crisis.
“As droughts cripple the West.” What does that have to do with energy production? Well, drought affects the operation of hydroelectric dams. If not enough water flows, the turbines cannot turn, and no electricity is produced.
And the drought out West has affected energy production. California’s hydroelectric energy production is currently 48% below its ten year average.
But has there been enough reduction in energy production to constitute a national emergency? Well, considering that the hydroelectric dams out West are still producing and that the US in general only relies on hydropower for about 6.5% of its electricity production, drought alone cannot explain the massive increases in energy costs most of us face.
“Russia’s unwarranted invasion of Ukraine.” Whether or not the invasion was unwarranted is outside the scope of this article. Why should this affect American energy production?
Is Russia using all its energy in its attack on Ukraine? Did they refuse to sell us any more oil after they invaded?
On March 8, the White House announced a ban on importing Russian oil, liquefied natural gas, and coal. The Russian attack on Ukraine only affected American energy markets because American politicians made it affect them.
In 2021, the US imported approximately 5% of its coal and 8% of its crude oil and refined petroleum products (such as diesel) from Russia. While not insignificant, this again begs the question: Is this a big enough market share to explain the skyrocketing fuel prices and rolling blackouts many Americans face? Does this constitute such a severe crisis that the government needs to give itself additional powers?
The rest of Secretary Raimondo’s statement about “preventing disruptions to the power system and diversifying our energy sources” presumes that the US has never had a fully resilient, functional energy grid. She presumes that a diverse, stable energy grid is something we need to work toward. Read Full Article >