NRECA Statement on President Biden’s Use of Defense Production Act for Energy Supply Chain

ARLINGTON, Va. – National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson issued the following statement on President Biden’s action today to invoke the Defense Production Act to accelerate the production of energy technology and equipment:

“For several months, America’s electric cooperatives have raised serious questions about supply chain disruptions to materials necessary for reliable operation of the nation’s electric infrastructure. In particular, shortages of transformers pose a risk to normal electric grid operations as well as recovery efforts for systems disrupted by a natural disaster. The Biden administration’s use of the Defense Production Act to shorten lead times for supplies of electric transformers is a much-needed step to support reliability and resilience, and NRECA urges inclusion of all stakeholders in the implementation process as well as additional measures to avoid unnecessary interruptions to electric grid operations.

“Numerous assessments have revealed the potential challenges to electric reliability in several states, and NRECA and its members have sought relief for supply chain shortages across the electric sector. That’s particularly true in fast-growing areas of our country and where severe storms threaten our commitment to reliable electricity for 42 million electric cooperative members.

“America’s electric cooperatives look forward to continuing to work with the Biden administration and Congress to reduce supply chain vulnerabilities in the short term while we increase domestic capability to meet our future needs. American families and businesses rightfully expect the lights to stay on at a price they can afford. A diverse energy mix that includes adequate baseload supply and an assured supply chain are essential to meet those expectations.”

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national trade association representing nearly 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. As local businesses built by the consumers they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $12 billion annually in their communities.