100 signatures reached
To: President Biden
Heat Pumps for Peace in Ukraine (and everywhere else)
Every gas-fired furnace warming a home in Europe helps keep Putin in power.
Electric heat pumps, which are like AC units that run in reverse, are a proven and popular replacement for gas furnaces. They're so popular in Europe that European manufacturers cannot keep up with demand.
American heat pump manufacturers, who have been somewhat left behind by their European and Japanese competition, do have production capacity and could export to Europe.
This would happen extremely quickly if President Biden were to invoke the Defense Production Act, incentivizing American manufacturers to ramp-up production and sell heat pumps into Europe where they can be installed before next winter.
All of this would dramatically lessen Putin’s power today.
President Biden: Please invoke the Defense Protection Act now to immediately ramp-up US production of electric heat pumps.
Why is this important?
The most crippling sanctions on Russia would halt its export of oil & gas--a staggering 60% of its export revenues--but these items are off the sanctions table due to Europe's reliance on Russian gas and the impact that higher oil prices would have on the global economy.
European homes and offices have been replacing gas-fired furnaces with electric heat pumps for years, but European manufacturers cannot keep up with demand.
With the stroke of a pen, Biden could require American manufacturers to increase electric heat pump production and export these units to Europe, thereby helping Europe fast track its transition away from Russian gas and opening the door to much tougher sanctions. While it would take time before Europe is ready to inflict that crippling blow to Russia, the marketplace impact would be instantaneous, adding enormous pressure to Putin.
- The American production ramp would create high-paying manufacturing jobs here in the US.
- Production at greater scale would reduce prices, removing adoption barriers here in the US.
- Yes, replacing gas-fired furnaces with electric heat pumps increases demand for electrical energy, some of which is produced by gas-fired thermal plants. But everyday, the European grid grows greener as less expensive wind and solar generation and battery storage continue to shut down fossil fuel plants.
- This petition is based entirely on an excellent essay by the great American environmentalist, journalist and founder of 350.org, Bill McKibben, titled "Heat Pumps for Peace and Freedom", February 28, 2022, which can be read here: https://billmckibben.substack.com/p/heat-pumps-for-peace-and-freedom?utm_source=url
- According to Ari Matusiak, the CEO of the non-profit Rewiring America, Europe and the UK have 75 million homes dependent on Russian gas for their heat.
- Per McKibben's article, and according to energy leaders in Europe, the European grid as it is today can handle the adoption of 50 million heat pumps.
- Per McKibben's article, the "Defense Production Act was used most recently by President Trump to mandate production of ventilators and President Biden, on his second day in office, to mandate production of decent masks."