Politics

Biden DOE Investing $1.7 Billion to Support Auto Workers and EV Production

President Biden’s Department of Energy is investing $1.7 billion to support American auto workers and modernize historical auto manufacturing facilities for electric vehicle production, as part of the President’s Investing in America agenda.

The $1.7 billion will be used to convert 11 shuttered or at-risk auto manufacturing and assembly facilities to manufacture electric vehicles and their supply chain, across eight states: Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, and Virginia.

The funds come from the Inflation Reduction Act, and the facilities will produce efficient hybrid, plug-in electric hybrid, plug-in electric drive, and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles.

The program centers workers’ rights and prioritizes long-standing facilities.

“It’ll save 15,000 jobs and create nearly 3000 more, and the majority of those jobs are union jobs,” Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm told reporters on a call in which PoliticusUSA participated.

“When I was governor of Michigan, before and during the Great Recession, it became painfully clear to me that the auto industry needed to embrace the future, but in order to do that, they needed a federal partner, especially to compete with other countries who were subsidizing their auto industries, and that’s what this massive investment is all about,” Granholm continued, and she ought to know, as the former Governor of Michigan, where nearly 19% of all U.S. auto production takes place.

In 2022, President Biden pledged at the State of the Union, “We’ll create good jobs for millions of Americans…and we’ll do it all to withstand the devastating effects of climate change and promote environmental justice.”

This program not only advances President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative of flowing 40% of investments to disadvantaged communities, but also selected projects will provide job and technical training along with benefits like childcare, transportation benefits and retirement benefits.

“Building a clean energy economy can and should be a win-win for union autoworkers and automakers,” President Biden said in a statement sent to PoliticusUSA. “This investment will create thousands of good-paying, union manufacturing jobs and retain even more—from Lansing, Michigan to Fort Valley, Georgia – by helping auto companies retool, reboot, and rehire in the same factories and communities.”

The President connected the Domestic Auto Manufacturing Conversion Grants program to his ongoing work to help American manufacturing have a comeback.

“This delivers on my commitment to never give up on the manufacturing communities and workers that were left behind by my predecessor and are now making a comeback with the support of my policies, including the conversion grants my administration is announcing today. These grants will help ensure the future of the auto industry is made in America by American union workers. I’ll never stop fighting for the American auto industry and American autoworkers.”

As American manufacturing closed down from steel towns to auto towns, the ability for working families to support themselves plummeted. Investing in American manufacturing is another way of investing in JOBS, and also the long term security of the country. The Biden-Harris administration has overseen a record of 15.7 million jobs created in just a 3 and a half year term.

Investments like these do what Donald Trump promised he would do, but never even came close to accomplishing: They literally do make America great again. And so one might ask, why then would we want to go back to the nightmare of a Trump administration, when investments like this would not be made and federal resources were sometimes used to settle personal grudges and reward his cronies.

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