Article 43

 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

The CHIPS Act

image: American Flag

Fact Sheet: CHIPS and Science Act Will Lower Costs, Create Jobs, Strengthen Supply Chains, and Counter China

The Whitehouse
August 9, 2022

In President Biden’s first year in office, the Biden-Harris Administration has implemented an industrial strategy to revitalize domestic manufacturing, create good-paying American jobs, strengthen American supply chains, and accelerate the industries of the future. These policies have spurred an historic recovery in manufacturing, adding 642,000 manufacturing jobs since 2021. Companies are investing in America again, bringing good-paying manufacturing jobs back home. The construction of new manufacturing facilities has increased 116 percent over last year.

Today, President Biden will sign into law the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which will build on this progress, making historic investments that will poise U.S. workers, communities, and businesses to win the race for the 21st century. It will strengthen American manufacturing, supply chains, and national security, and invest in research and development, science and technology, and the workforce of the future to keep the United States the leader in the industries of tomorrow, including nanotechnology, clean energy, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence.  The CHIPs and Science Act makes the smart investments so that American to compete in and win the future.

Spurred by the passage of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, this week, companies have announced nearly $50 billion in additional investments in American semiconductor manufacturing, bringing total business investment to nearly $150 billion since President Biden took office:

Micron is announcing a $40 billion investment in memory chip manufacturing, critical for computers and electronic devices, which will create up to 40,000 new jobs in construction and manufacturing. This investment alone will bring the U.S. market share of memory chip production from less than 2 percent to up to 10 percent over the next decade.

Qualcomm and GlobalFoundries are announcing a new partnership that includes $4.2 billion to manufacture chips in an expansion of GlobalFoundries upstate New York facility. Qualcomm, the leading fabless semiconductor company in the world, announced plans to increase semiconductor production in the U.S. by up to 50 percent over the next five years.

The CHIPS and Science Act will boost American semiconductor research, development, and production, ensuring U.S. leadership in the technology that forms the foundation of everything from automobiles to household appliances to defense systems. America invented the semiconductor, but today produces about 10 percent of the worlds supplyҗand none of the most advanced chips. Instead, we rely on East Asia for 75 percent of global production. The CHIPS and Science Act will unlock hundreds of billions more in private sector semiconductor investment across the country, including production essential to national defense and critical sectors.

The law will also ensure the United States maintains and advances its scientific and technological edge. In the mid-1960s, at the peak of the race to the moon, the federal government invested 2 percent of GDP in research and development. By 2020, that number had fallen to less than 1 percent. Economic growth and prosperity over the last 40 years has clustered in a few regions on the coasts, leaving far too many communities behind. The CHIPS and Science Act will ensure the future is made in ALL of America, and unlock opportunities in science and technology for those who have been historically left out.

The Biden-Harris Administration has already taken action to ensure expedient, responsible deployment of CHIPS and Science Act funding:

Coordinated permitting for high-tech manufacturing. Today, the Administration is announcing the launch of a sector-specific interagency expert working group on permitting and permitting-related project delivery issues for high-tech manufacturing, consistent with the Presidents Permitting Action Plan announced in May.  This interagency working group will build on the interagency CHIPS and Science Act planning to date between the Council on Environmental Quality, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Commerce.  It will help to ensure collaboration and coordination across federal agencies, the private sector, and with state and local governments to facilitate timely and effective reviews of all federally-funded projects. The working group will also serve as a clearinghouse for best practices with respect to permitting and other project delivery issues to support implementation of projects funded by the bill.

President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) releases new recommendations on semiconductors R&D. Today, PCAST sent a letter to the President with their recommendations for implementing the CHIPS and Science Act, including: forming a national microelectronics training network for semiconductor workforce development across academic institutions, including minority-serving institutions and community colleges; fostering innovation by reducing the barriers of entry to startups; recommending the development of a “chiplet platform” to enable startups and researchers to more rapidly innovate at lower cost; and setting a national semiconductor research agenda with fundamental research and grand challenges to, for example, build the first “zettascale supercomputer” which would be 1,000 times faster than the fastest supercomputer available today. The full PCAST semiconductors report will be released this fall.

The CHIPS and Science Act will:

Bolster U.S. leadership in semiconductors. The CHIPS and Science Act provides $52.7 billion for American semiconductor research, development, manufacturing, and workforce development. This includes $39 billion in manufacturing incentives, including $2 billion for the legacy chips used in automobiles and defense systems, $13.2 billion in R&D and workforce development,and $500 million to provide for international information communications technology security and semiconductor supply chain activities. It also provides a 25 percent investment tax credit for capital expenses for manufacturing of semiconductors and related equipment. These incentives will secure domestic supply, create tens of thousands of good-paying, union construction jobs and thousands more high-skilled manufacturing jobs, and catalyze hundreds of billions more in private investment.

The bill requires recipients to demonstrate significant worker and community investments, including opportunities for small businesses and disadvantaged communities, ensuring semiconductor incentives support equitable economic growth and development.

These funds also come with strong guardrails, ensuring that recipients do not build certain facilities in China and other countries of concern, and preventing companies from using taxpayer funds for stock buybacks and shareholder dividends. It will also support good-paying, union construction jobs by requiring Davis-Bacon prevailing wage rates for facilities built with CHIPS funding.

Promote U.S. innovation in wireless supply chains. The CHIPS and Science Act includes $1.5 billion for promoting and deploying wireless technologies that use open and interoperable radio access networks. This investment will boost U.S. leadership in wireless technologies and their supply chains.

Advance U.S. global leadership in the technologies of the future. U.S. leadership in new technologies - from artificial intelligence to biotechnology to computing - is critical to both our future economic competitiveness and our national security. Public investments in R&D lay the foundation for the future breakthroughs that over time yield new businesses, new jobs, and more exports.

The CHIPS and Science Act will establish a technology, innovation, and partnerships directorate at the National Science Foundation (NSF) to focus on fields like semiconductors and advanced computing, advanced communications technology, advanced energy technologies, quantum information technologies, and biotechnology. It will strengthen commercialization of research and technology, ensuring that what is invented in America is made in America. The Act will also reauthorize and expand fundamental and use-inspired research at the Department of Energy Office of Science and the National Institute of Standards and Technology to sustain U.S. leadership in the sciences and engineering as the engine for American innovation.

Catalyze regional economic growth and development. The CHIPS and Science Act authorizes $10 billion to invest in regional innovation and technology hubs across the country, bringing together state and local governments, institutes of higher education, labor unions, businesses, and community-based organizations to create regional partnerships to develop technology, innovation, and manufacturing sectors.

These hubs will create jobs, spur regional economic development, and position communities throughout the country to lead in high-growth, high-wage sectors such as artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, and clean energy technology. It also authorizes a $1 billion RECOMPETE pilot program at the Department of Commerces Economic Development Administration (EDA) to alleviate persistent economic distress and support long-term comprehensive economic development and job creation in the most distressed communities.

Provide STEM opportunities to more of America to participate in good-paying skilled jobs. Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and workforce development activities are critical to developing skills needed for taking on the highly-skilled jobs of the emerging industries built on technologies of the future. To ensure more people from all backgrounds and all regions and communities around the country, especially people from marginalized, under-served, and under-resourced communities, can benefit from and participate in STEM education and training opportunities, the CHIPS and Science Act authorizes new and expanded investments in STEM education and training from K-12 to community college, undergraduate and graduate education.

Drive opportunity and equity for all of America in STEM and innovation. The legislation authorizes investments to expand the geographic and institutional diversity of research institutions and the students and researchers they serve, including new initiatives to support Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions, and other academic institutions providing opportunities to historically-underserved students and communities, primarily through the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CHIPS and Science Act also broadens the geographic diversity of research and innovation funding to leverage the talent and ideas found all across America. The legislation also gives agencies and institutions the mission and the tools to combat sexual and gender-based harassment in the sciences, a demonstrated barrier to participation in STEM for too many Americans. Through these investments and initiatives, the bill would support learners, educators, and researchers at minority-serving and emerging research institutions and in rural communities, as well as broaden participation to include people of all backgrounds and experiences, driving the creation of a STEM ecosystem that looks like and benefits all of America.

SOURCE

image: greedy executive

Sanders Blasts ‘Rigged Economy’ as Chipmakers Cut Investments After Big Handout

By Jake Johnson
Common Dreams
August 18, 2022

“Intel announced it will be cutting back on plans to increase jobs by $4 billion while increasing dividends for its wealthy shareholders,” the Vermont senator wrote on Twitter.

News that the U.S. semiconductor giants Intel and Micron are slashing manufacturing investments despite the recent passage of a major subsidies bill drew the ire of Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Senate’s most OUTSPOKEN critic of industry handouts in the CHIPS and Science Act.

Sanders, the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, was the ONLY MEMBER of the Senate Democratic caucus to vote no.

“This is what a rigged economy looks like,” Sanders (I-Vt.) said Wednesday. “On the same day a bill was signed into law to give a $76 billion blank check to microchip companies, Intel announced it will be cutting back on plans to increase jobs by $4 billion while increasing dividends for its wealthy shareholders.”

The Vermont senator was referring to Intel’s move to CUT SPENDING on manufacturing plant buildouts and other investments by $4 billion in the coming months - even as it continues to pay a sizable dividend.

“We paid dividends of $1.5 billion, a 5% increase year-over-year, and remain committed to growing the dividend over time,” David Zinsner, Intel’s chief financial officer, SAID during the company’s second-quarter earnings call late last month.

Led by LAVISHLY COMPENSATED CEO Pat Gelsinger, Intel LOBBIED AGGRESSIVELY for the CHIPS and Science Act, threatening to move more of its operations outside the U.S. if the subsidies bill wasn’t approved. President Joe Biden SIGNED the measure into law last week after it passed both chambers of Congress with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Sanders, the chair of the Senate Budget Committee, was the ONLY MEMBER of the Senate Democratic caucus to vote no.

Micron, for its part, said last week that it plans to “cut its capital spending ‘meaningfully’ next year” in response to worsening conditions in the chip industry and the global economy, the Financial Times REPORTED.

The company’s announcement came a day after it HAILED passage of the CHIPS and Science Act and vowed to make good use of the law’s “grants and credits.”

Overall, the newly enacted law INCLUDES $52 billion in taxpayer subsidies and a $24 billion investment tax credit for the semiconductor industry.

In several speeches on the Senate floor ahead of the measure’s final passage, Sanders blasted the legislation as “corporate welfare” and proposed AMENDMENTS aimed at ensuring companies wouldn’t use the taxpayer funds to reward shareholders, bust unions, and offshore more jobs.

Democrats and Republicans rejected the senator’s proposed changes.

“The five biggest semiconductor companies that will likely receive the lion’s share of this taxpayer handout - Intel, Texas Instruments, Micron Technology, Global Foundries, and Samsung - made $70 billion in profits last year,” Sanders SAID in a July speech. “Does it sound like these companies really need corporate welfare?”

SOURCE

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Intel Ohio Fab Breaks Ground, Leading Chip Plant Project Wave

By James Leggate
ENR Midwest
September 22, 2022

Intel Corp. formally broke ground Sept. 9 on a $20-BILLION PROJECT to build two semiconductor chip manufacturing plants in central Ohio. Company leaders and government officials praised the project as an example of investments to boost domestic chip production after decades of U.S. market share declines.

The project will support about 7,000 construction jobs, said Keyvan Esfarjani, Intels senior vice president and general manager of manufacturing, supply chain and operations. In addition to work on the New Albany, Ohio, site itself, the project has already spurred “significant infrastructure” work in the surrounding area, he added.

The two fabs under construction “are going to require [as much] concrete [as] building two of the world’s tallest buildings ... and enough structural steel to build eight Eiffel Towers,” Esfarjani said.

Early excavation work began earlier this summer, with a team led by GILBANE BUILDING CO. The team also includes McDanielҒs Construction Corp., Northstar Contracting Inc. and GTSA Construction Consulting.

Intel says the 1,000-acre “mega-site” northeast of Columbus has room for as many as eight plants, known as “fabs.” The company estimates it would require a $100-billion investment to fully build and equip those plants.

President Joe Biden and various lawmakers attended Intels groundbreaking ceremony. In August, Biden signed the Chips and Science Act, which includes about $39 billion to support chip plant construction. He touted IntelҒs project as one of many that would help increase U.S.-based production of semiconductor chips, which are used in a wide variety of goods. He noted that the U.S. share of chip production has slipped from more than 30% in the early 1990s to about 12%, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.

“As we saw during the pandemic, when factories that make these chips shut down, the global economy comes to a halt, driving up costs for families and everyone, not just here, but around the world,” Biden said.

Intel is not alone in moving to boost domestic semiconductor chip production. Micron Technology Inc. recently announced it would invest $15 billion building a fab in Boise, Idaho, as part of plans to invest $40 billion in manufacturing expansions. GlobalFoundries and Qualcomm extended a long-term semiconductor manufacturing agreement that will keep production in the U.S. that may have otherwise moved overseas. And on the same day as Intels groundbreaking, Wolfspeed Inc. selected a site in Chatham County, N.C., to build a $5-billion materials manufacturing facility to produce silicon carbide wafers for semiconductor chips.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 08/23/22 •
Section Dying America
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Friday, August 19, 2022

Democracy Hollowed Out Part 43 - Banning The Bible

image: book burning

A Texas school board rejects ‘In God We Trust’ signs in Arabic… The signs had the right message, as required by law. One stated “In God We Trust” over a rainbow background. Another was in Arabic. But the Carroll school district in North Texas rejected the signs, saying it already has enough for its buildings.
- Texas school board rejects “In God We Trust” signs in Arabic

Texas School Bans the Bible
Keller ISD has pulled all versions of the Bible from school shelves in a recent purge to remove LGBTQ books and other ‘controversial’ titles.

By Matthew Gault
Vice
August 17, 2022

A Texas school district has pulled all versions of the Bible and the graphic novel version of Anne Franks Diary from its library shelves ahead of the start of the school year. The ban happened in Keller, Texas - a suburb in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex with a population just under 40,000.

On August 16, the day before school started, Jennifer Price, Keller ISDs executive director of curriculum and instruction sent an email to the school district’s principals: Attached is a list of all books that were challenged last year. By the end of today, I need all books pulled from the library and classrooms,” Price said. Once this has been completed, please email me a confirmation. We need to ensure this action is taken by the end of the day. I apologize for the late request.”

The list of CURRENTLY CHALLENGED WORKS is 41 books long and includes “The Bible (All Versions),” Anne Frank’s Diary (The Graphic Adaptation), So Youre Being Publicly Shamed, several LGBT touchstones like Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, and classics like Toni Morisson’s The Bluest Eye.

Later that day, Keller ISD released a statement on its website. “Keller ISD’s Board of Trustees approved policies EFA (Local) and EFB (Local) at its August 8, 2022, Special Meeting. These policies relate to the acquisition and review of instructional materials and library books. Right now, Keller ISDҒs administration is asking our campus staff and librarians to review books that were challenged last year to determine if they meet the requirements of the new policy,” the statement said. “All of the books included in Tuesdays email have been included on Keller ISD’s Book Challenge list over the past year. Books that meet the new guidelines will be returned to the libraries as soon as it is confirmed they comply with the new policy.”

Essentially, in this case, books were challenged, then reviewed in a closed-door committee vetting process. The books survived that review, but then were further challenged; the district decided to pull all books on the challenged list for the time being.

Bryce Nienman, Keller ISD’s spokesman, told the Dallas Morning News that Keller’s school trustees recently approved a new policy that would reconsider every book that had already survived a ban. The new policy came after Texas state officials launched an official investigation into Keller ISD over sexually explicit books in its library. Parents and teachers met in secret for months, reviewing the books and making decisions about what could stay and what could go. Participants had to sign CONFIDENTIALITY AGREEMENTS.

Laney Hawes, a Keller ISD parent who sounded the alarm about the book ban on Twitter, talked about her experience in some of these meetings. “These books went through the official district established challenge committee process, she said. “But because they all passed the committee process, our extreme Christian nationalist school board decided the process was ‘rigged.’ Sound familiar? I served on the committee for The Diary of Anne Frank Graphic Novel. The person who challenged the book didn’t even show up to defend their position. But now the book is pulled.”

Much of the current wave of book banning in the United States is being FUELED BY GROUPS LIKE MOMS FOR LIBERTY that are explicitly Conservative and Christian, so it’s ironic that the district has included The Bible in its list of banned titles. It’s a book for which there is at least a plausible argument for banning, considering the Constitutionally enshrined, but poorly enforced, separation of church and state.

Book bannings in schools and libraries have become increasingly common in America. The targets are typically books that deal with LGBTQ THEMES, books that deal with sex in any way shape or form, and books about the Holocaust. Librarians and administrators have also REPORTED RECEIVING THREATS and discrimination after setting up displays featuring LGBTQ books, and right-wing extremist groups have DISRUPTED multiple Pride-themed events in libraries across the US.

SOURCE

Book Banning Is a Slippery Slope to Fascism

Texas Republicans, having worked up hysteria around so-called critical race theoryӔ being taught in schools (its not), have moved on to the next culture-wars issue: banning books from schools that they claim are pornographic or present history or society in ways that makes them feel uncomfortable. This is nothing new; Americans have been banning books since before there was a United States. But book bans must always be opposed by people who believe in freedom of speech and expression, and support public education.

I first read English author George OrwellҒs 1984 in my public high school, probably in 1981. It absolutely terrified me. More than anything, the notion that an all-powerful State could not only control your actions but even your thoughts, to the point that rebellion was impossible, was terrifying to contemplate. Should I, as a high school student, been permitted to read it? It did make me very uncomfortable. Should 1984 therefore be banned?

Absolutely not. 1984 should be required reading for all high school students. And yet, since its publication by Orwell in 1949, it has been banned many times for social and political themes and for sexual content. It has also been challenged for being “pro-communism,” even though Orwell modeled his State and Big Brother on both fascist and Communist governments of his time.

Along with the typical complaints about “pornographic” books, this latest wave of conservatives banning books is remarkable for their anger towards books by and about people of color, or by and about LGBTQ, especially trans people. Texas State Rep. Matt Krause, a Republican, released a list of about 850 books that he wanted to ban from school libraries. He claimed the books make students feel “discomfort” because of their content about race and sexuality.  An analysis of Krauses list by The Dallas Morning News found that of the first 100 titles listed, 97 were written by women, people of color or LGBTQ authors. A common complaint is that these books will make children think about changing themselves, or teaches them ғcritical race theory.

School libraries aren’t the only place where conservatives are seeking to ban books. Some public libraries in cities and counties in Texas are seeing numerous book challenges from local residents, often with the stated goal of trying to protect our children. Late last year, Llano County Community Library was forced to shut down for several days to enable librarians to conduct a thorough review of every childrens book in the library, at the behest of the Llano County Commissioners Court. Local public libraries in Victoria, Irving and Tyler are facing book challenges from local residents seeking to have children’s books removed. And Granbury ISD, in Hood County, removed 125 books from the high school library after Rep. Krause spoke with Hood County Judge Ron Massingill.

Libraries, and especially school libraries, need to be places where students can go and find stories about people who look or feel like them. They need to be places where students can safely explore their world, which for many students is a baffling place full of change, new feelings, and sometimes danger. Our children are actually pretty resilient, and typically wont read books that make them feel too uncomfortable or that present ideas that are too advanced for them.

But if the books that they need to find aren’t available, they will look elsewhere, potentially somewhere less safe than their school or community library. Are all books appropriate for all ages? No, of course not, but we need to trust our librarians to make those choices, not politicians with partisan goals in mind, like Republican Rep. Matt Krause and Hood County Judge Massengill. Parents always have the right to tell their children what not to read, but they do not have the right to decide what is appropriate for all children to read. That path indeed leads to the slippery slope in which more and more books are determined to be “inappropriate” and book bonfires come back into vogue. As a Granbury High School student memorably stated, in comments to the Granbury ISD Board of Trustees, No government - and public school is an extension of government - has ever banned books, and banned information from its public, and been remembered in history as the “good guys.”

SOURCE

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Posted by Elvis on 08/19/22 •
Section Dying America • Section Fascism
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