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House Democrats want to use DPA for electric transformers

USA, Washington D.C.: A group of House Democrats is pushing Congress to use the powerful Defense Production Act (DPA) to rapidly produce electric transformers.

The call that comes in the wake of an armed attack at two substations in North Carolina that left tens of thousands without power.

The nine Democratic members — who include Reps. Sean Casten (Ill.), Doris Matsui (Calif.) and Conor Lamb (Pa.) — asked for $2.1 B in emergency funding to develop domestic supply chains to produce transformers, which are considered a critical weak point in the power grid, Casten’s office said in a press release.

The money would be be paid out of a forthcoming disaster supplemental funding bill — an ad hoc measure expected to be passed during the lame-duck session to aid in disaster recovery.

The recent attacks on transformers in Moore County, N.C., were “top of mind” for the members, said a source familiar with the matter. The FBI has joined the investigation into the destructive vandalism, which officials say was caused by gunfire.

“Extreme weather events have added pressure to the already-struggling transformer supply chain,” the lawmakers noted.

The request also comes amid a larger push by clean energy advocates in the House to build out a revamped nationwide grid.

Many clean energy advocates — including Casten — see a vastly expanded national grid essential to connect sparsely populated renewable energy-producing regions with the faraway cities hungry for electricity.

 

Source: The Hill

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