This week, the Biden administration gave $2.8 billion to 20 businesses in exchange for their commitment to supporting Democratic causes like diversity, equity and inclusion and hiring workers to produce the batteries and other components used in electric vehicles.
The Biden administration’s latest effort to further its diversity, equality, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) agenda in the business sector is the conditional grants. DEIA leaders from various agencies met last month and decided to increase their efforts in this area, or “ across the federal government and our society .”
It also fits into a larger trend of businesses adhering to environment, social, and governance (ESG) principles in an effort to establish a “responsible” reputation with investors.
President Biden and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm specifically stated that their choice to offer federal cash for these projects was conditioned on a promise to further the DEIA agenda when they announced their $2.8 billion “investment” in EV battery businesses on Wednesday.
Amazon is investing $972 million on electric trucks and vans across Europe.
According to the Department of Energy, “the companies submitted plans for engagement with local stakeholders, Tribal nations, environmental groups, and labor unions to ensure the funded projects create high-quality jobs, advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility ; and meaningfully contribute to the Justice40 initiative to provide 40% of the overall benefits of federal clean energy investments to disadvantaged and underrepresented communities.”
The 20 companies that received awards pledged to increase production in “disadvantaged communities,” with five promising to do so, and 13 promising to engage “host communities, labor unions and/or Tribal entities to agree on community benefits and implementation plans” through the negotiation of workforce and community agreements.
In order to hire and train employees, fifteen of the organizations stated that they would partner with “minority serving institutions, particularly Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).”
ASIAN AND EUROPEAN ALLIES ANGRY OVER US ELECTRIC-VEHICLE TAX BREAK
To qualify for the federal funds, companies had to make a number of particular DEIA-related guarantees.
For instance, the $50 million recipient 6k Inc. claimed that the project’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility principles were taken into account in all aspects.
With the $57 million it got, American Battery Technology Company pledged to “encourage local community improvements through an environment and equity focused micro-grants program.”
Amprius stated that it is “dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) measures” after receiving $50 million from the government.
With the $100 million it earned, Applied Materials, Inc. pledged to take “location-based action through equity-centered community engagement programs.”
LITHIUM PRICES REACH NEW HIGHS AS ELECTRIC CAR DEMAND SOARS
With regard to its $75 million grant, Cirba Solutions stated that its mission is to “promote fairness, environmental justice, and energy justice.”
After receiving $100 million, Group14 Technologies, Inc. pledged to focus on “worker engagement, job quality, diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and investments in renewable energy to help underserved areas throughout eastern Washington.”