Retired Military Leaders Urge Treasury to Address IRA 45X

Washington, D.C. – This week, 16 military members of SAFE’s Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) submitted a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen urging clarification on the definition of aluminum in the Inflation Reduction Act.

Responding to Treasury’s stakeholder comment period, the letter read in part: “The Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit [45x] could provide millions of dollars of tax credits that could help U.S. aluminum smelters cut costs, boost efficiency, reduce emissions, and increase global competitiveness. But only if the definition of the term “aluminum” includes primary production of commercial grade aluminum.”

The IRA defines aluminum as converted from bauxite; however, alumina is converted from bauxite, not aluminum. Therefore, the 45X tax credit as written could be read to apply only to the refining of alumina and, as a result, not benefit domestic primary aluminum producers, nor achieve the spirit of the legislation to increase domestic manufacturing.

SAFE believes aluminum is vital to the clean energy transition, a key component for electric vehicles, solar panels, transmission lines, and countless other tools of the clean energy future. It is also critical for national security so that we have control over our supply chains. By increasing primary aluminum production in the U.S., we can create stable, good paying jobs and see the industry revitalized and growing.

The letter’s signatories were:


Admiral Jonathan Greenert, 30th Chief of Naval Operations

Co-Chair, Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC)


Admiral Dennis C. Blair, U.S. NAVY (RET.)

Former Director of National Intelligence and Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command


General Bryan “Doug” Brown, U.S. Army (RET.)

Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations Command


General Richard A. Cody, U.S. Army (RET.)

Former Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army


General James T. Conway, (RET.)

34th Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps


General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., U.S. Marine Corps (RET.)

19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff


General Carlton Everhart, III, U.S. Air Force (RET.)

Former Commander, Air Mobility Command


General Michael W. Hagee, U.S. Marine Corps (RET.)

33rd Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps


General John W. Handy, U.S. Air Force (RET.)

Former Commander, U.S. Transportation Command


Admiral John C. Harvey, U.S. Navy (RET.)

Former Commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command


Admiral Michelle J. Howard, U.S. Navy (RET.)

Former Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and U.S. Naval Forces Africa


Admiral Gregory G. Johnson, U.S. Navy (RET.)

Former Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, Europe


General David. D. McKiernan, U.S. Army (RET.)

Former Commander, International Security Assistance Fore (ISAF), Afghanistan


General Duncan J. McNabb, U.S. Air Force (RET.)

Former Commander, U.S. Transportation Command


General Michael E. Ryan, U.S. Air Force (RET.)

16th Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force


General Charles F. Wald, U.S. Air Force (RET.)

Former Deputy Commander, U.S. European Command


The full letter can be found here.