Biden must embrace domestic mining. #MAMA

Americans are starting to see the results of the bipartisan infrastructure bill signed by President Joe Biden in 2021. Federal projects are upgrading America’s transit systems and power grids, including a proliferation of electric vehicles and charging stations. However, there’s a catch. All of these renewable technologies have spurred massive demand for key minerals and metals. But global supplies of these resources are dominated by the United States’ rivals.

The International Energy Agency estimates that demand for key minerals — such as lithium, cobalt and nickel — will grow 4,000% by 2040. However, the U.S. is falling woefully behind in the race to gather enough supplies. In fact, America’s reliance on imported minerals just hit another record, with China the largest supplier of these crucial building blocks.

The Biden administration knows it has a problem on its hands. Jake Sullivan — the Biden administration’s top national security adviser — recently said, “Clean energy supply chains are at risk of being weaponized in the same way as oil in the 1970s or natural gas in Europe in 2022.”

Sullivan says America’s dependence on China-dominated supply chains is unacceptable. And China’s use of forced labor, threats against Taiwan, and hoarding of mineral supplies as geopolitical leverage should be reason enough to take action.

Remarkably, though, the Biden administration has yet to use the best lever to address the problem. The administration is having the State Department fund mining overseas — including in Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. That’s particularly unfortunate because mining in the DRC is rife with child workers exposed to toxic dust.

Such disturbing practices contrast with much safer — and heavily regulated — mining in the United States. This matters because the U.S. possesses vast mineral supplies, including the resources needed for electric vehicle batteries.

#MAMA – Make America Mine Again – safer and environmentally benign methods.


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