American Gas Association says wartime law is ‘being used as an instrument to advance a policy agenda contradictory to our nation’s strong energy position’

President Biden invoked a Cold War-era law in a surprising move Friday to pour taxpayer funds into domestic manufacturing of electric heat pumps, an alternative to gas-powered residential furnaces.

In a joint announcement with the White House, the Department of Energy (DOE) said the federal government would award a “historic” $169 million for nine projects across 15 sites nationwide in an effort to accelerate electric heat pump manufacturing. The significant level of funding was made possible after Biden utilized the 1950 Defense Production Act (DPA) to increase domestic production of green energy technologies.

“Getting more American-made electric heat pumps on the market will help families and businesses save money with efficient heating and cooling technology,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. “These investments will create thousands of high-quality, good-paying manufacturing jobs and strengthen America’s energy supply chain, while creating healthier indoor spaces through home-grown clean energy technologies.”

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