August 26, 2021: A package of infrastructure measures passed by the US Senate on August 10 contains a $7 billion boost for all battery technologies as a direct result of work by Battery Council International and its members.
The Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act, passed by the Senate after months of negotiations by both Democrats and Republicans, authorizes $1 trillion in spending on a raft of initiatives, such as roads and bridges, water, broadband, electric vehicles and batteries.
Thanks to BCI and its members, the spending on battery-related provisions will include all battery chemistries, which means lead technologies can apply for $7 billion in incentives to develop manufacturing and recycling capacity.
Roger Miksad, executive vice president and general counsel at BCI, said conversations were always being held with policy makers and legislators on Capitol Hill “to ensure our domestic legislators recognize the importance of the existing domestic lead battery industry and the great work being done by American manufacturers and American consumers”.
“The legislators that have facilities in their districts are well informed on lead battery manufacturing and recycling,” says Miksad.
“Certainly in the public press lithium batteries get much of the attention, but when stakeholders such as legislators and other regulators are informed of the benefits of lead batteries we find they get very excited by the promise of domestic manufacturing for those domestic energy needs.”
Lisa Dry, vice president of strategic communications, has been instrumental in conceiving and promoting Essential Energy Everyday, a website that she says members are always contributing to with information, data and facts, to shine a light on the benefits of the industry.
“Change doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” she says. “Our members have been right with us since the launch of our communications programme in 2017, and for nearly four years they’ve also been investing, and helping policymakers know more about lead batteries, their benefits, their future, things like that.”
“We are very encouraged that Congress has recognized the importance of all sorts of battery technologies,” says Miksad. “Congress’s significant investment in American battery manufacturing will pay absolute dividends to the country for decades, and lead batteries are rightly one of the key industries in which America should invest.”
Read our full interview with Roger Miksad in the next BCI Yearbook, out soon!