Photo by René DeAnda at https://unsplash.com/photos/zfKlCKK-Ql0.
On February 24, 2021, President Biden signed a new Executive Order (EO) concerning “America’s Supply Chains.” The EO has two parts. First, the EO directs an immediate 100-day review, requiring certain federal agencies to assess vulnerabilities in industry supply chains. Of interest to the electricity sector: (1) the Department of Energy is instructed to submit a report identifying risks in the supply chain for high-capacity batteries, including electric-vehicle batteries, and policy recommendations to address these risks; (2) the Secretary of Commerce is tasked with evaluating semiconductor manufacturing; and (3) the Secretary of Defense must identify risks in the supply chain for critical materials, including rare earth elements. Second, the EO calls for an in-depth one-year review of supply chains across industries, including an evaluation of the energy sector industrial base.
The 100-day and one-year review reports are designed to identify and evaluate critical and essential materials underlying the supply chain in question, the capabilities necessary to produce such materials, risks that may compromise the supply chain, and the resiliency measures required to address such risks. Finally, the EO directs agencies to identify the primary causes of risks to the supply chain, a prioritization of critical and essential goods, any executive, legislative, regulatory, and policy recommendations, and any proposals for improving the Government-wide effort to strengthen supply chains. In completing their reports, federal agencies are encouraged to consult with outside stakeholders.
Note that this EO is different than EO 13920, "Securing the United States Bulk-Power System," issued by President Trump on May 1, 2020, which focused on the prohibition of obtaining supply of equipment to support the Bulk-Power System from defined “foreign adversaries.” On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed EO 13990 “Protecting Public Health and the Environmental and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis,” which suspended EO 13920 for 90-days, pending review by the Secretary of Energy and the Director of the Office of Management & Budget.
The Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains is available here.
A Fact Sheet regarding the Executive Order is available here.