First on the fox: The National Mining Association (NMA) issued a stark warning Tuesday that the United States is highly dependent on imports to meet necessary mineral requirements. green energy projects.
The NMA, the leading trade organization representing mining interests in the United States, expressed its concerns in a federal filing to White House Interagency Working Group (IWG) on Mining Reform. The group noted in the document that China has a strong foothold in global metals markets, making it difficult for the United States to gain a foothold in a key supply chain without immediate action.
“Despite being home to vast and diverse mineral resources, the United States faces serious challenges in the mineral supply chain,” the NMA wrote in its filing. “Our import dependence has been a well-documented and increasingly problematic issue for decades, and is now a crisis, exacerbated by the pandemic and challenges associated with war, and the electrification of our economy.”
In February, Home Secretary Deb Haaland announced the creation of the IWG, which includes the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture, months after ordering the White House to review the domestic supply chain and recommend solutions to expand “sustainable and responsible critical mineral production and processing.” Halland said the task force’s work is important “to meet the needs of the clean energy economy.”
Green energy technologies such as electric vehicle Batteries, battery storage facilities, solar panels and wind turbines require a massive expansion of production of cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel, graphite, zinc and other minerals, according to the International Energy Agency. For example, an electric vehicle requires 500% more metal resources than a conventional gas-powered vehicle, while a single onshore wind turbine plant requires 800% more metals than a typical fossil fuel plant.
However, China and other hostile countries dominate the global mineral supply chain even as the United States and Western countries are rapidly pushing the switch to green energy technologies.
“The United States at the crossroads of mining” continued the NMA comments. “Demand for minerals is rising, but our policies are lagging behind. We need to encourage more local mining to meet future demand and ensure that materials for everything from infrastructure to electricity are readily available.”
“The direction we take on mining law and related policies can either help secure domestic mineral supply chains or drive mining investment abroad.”
According to a White House report last year, China alone controls about 55% of global mining capacity and 85% of refining capacity.
By comparison, the United States extracted only 6% of global copper supply, 5.7% of global zinc supply, 0.67% of global nickel supply, 0.4% of global cobalt supply, and 0% of global graphite supply last year, the data showed. federation.
Rich Nolan, NMA President and CEO, told FOX Business in a statement.
He continued, “The United States is home to abundant mineral reserves and environmental, safety and labor standards that are a model for countries everywhere, yet we track the world in the use of these resources due to disrupted and cumbersome permit processes.”
However, many Democratic lawmakers and environmental groups have pushed to allow reform measures that strengthen regulations and make it difficult for mining companies to get approval for proposed projects. In April, House Natural Resources Speaker Raul Grijalva, D-Arizona, and Senator Martin Heinrich, DN.M. Legislation that would implement new restrictions on domestic mining.
However, as part of the July deal lighting up the Inflation Reduction Act, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senator Joe Manchin, announced a loosening of the legislation. Energy Project Permit Requirements It will be presented in September.
In addition, a bipartisan group of lawmakers provided their own comments to the IWG on Tuesday, urging the federal government to ensure local mining “in a timely and safe and environmentally sustainable manner.”
“The problem is widely recognized and understood,” Nolan said.
“Now that Congress has committed to fixing mines with bipartisan support, and the administration has created an interagency working group specifically tasked with tackling flaws in the current permit system, the time to act is now, which is urgent if we are to restore America’s competitiveness, remove Chinese dominance and begin to address overreliance. The deep import of minerals we’ve built over decades.”
Over 31,000 comments were submitted to the IWG. Tuesday marks the last day that stakeholders are able to release comments.