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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • U.S. Senator: “Our Energy Future Is Bright, But Only If We Recognize The World We Are In”

    As the tech wars over Rare Earths and other critical metals and minerals deepen, competition is heating up in another field of resource policy.  In a new piece for the Washington Times, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) discusses the new realities of a globalized energy market and the consequences associated with America’s declining nuclear energy sector.

    While America’s energy dominance is unquestionable, “we cannot rest on our laurels,”writes Sen. Murkowski, who worries that the federal government has been too slow to adjust, and that “our striking lack of robust tools for economic statecraft impairs our ability to reach commercial deals and build critical infrastructure on a strategic basis.”

    “[O]ne of the few technologies that can provide zero-emission on-demand heat and electricity,” she says, is nuclear energy, but with eight reactors having closed in the United States since 2013, and only two new reactors being built, this industry is facing rapid decline, in spite of the fact that the new generation of nuclear power features reactors that are “smaller, safer, operate more flexibly, have higher efficiency, produce less or no waste, and have additional operational benefits over the existing fleet.”

    To counter the decline, Congress is working to speed up the development of such advanced reactors, and we are currently awaiting the results of the “U.S. Nuclear Fuel Working Group” announced in July to conduct a “fuller analysis of national security considerations with respect to the entire nuclear fuel supply chain,” the findings of which are due later this year.

    However, Sen. Murkowski says, “demonstrating the technology at home as an energy and climate solution is not sufficient to enable competitive global nuclear exports” and argues that the U.S. is ceding its edge in the global competition for energy dominance to Russia and China, state-owned companies of which are offering financing, fuel services and technical know-how to nations turning to nuclear technology to meet rising energy demands. 

    Touting her “Strategic Energy Initiative (SEI)” which she unveiled in July to “sharpen and direct our tools of energy- related economic statecraft to enhance the geopolitical posture of the United States,” she closes:

    “Our energy future is bright, but only if we recognize the world we are in. Prosperity, after all, is not a birthright. We as Americans know that it is earned.”

    To learn more about the Strategic Energy Initiative aimed at sharpening the focus of and strengthening federal departments and agencies, such as the Department of Energy, and trade and finance-related institutions such as the Trade Development Agency, the Export-Import Bank, and the Development Finance Corporation (as it evolves from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation), click here

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  • As Tech War Deepens Over REEs, Australia Steps Up to the Plate

    As the trade war between China and the United States deepens, concern over access to Rare Earths and other critical minerals is spreading all over the world.  While the U.S. is taking steps aimed at increasing domestic REE supplies — most recently manifesting in the Trump Administration’s invocation of the 69-year-old Defense Production Act and efforts to increase international cooperation with allies, Australia, too, is taking action.

    Reports the Straits Times:

    “Australia will step up production of rare earths and other militarily sensitive ‘tech metals’, the country’s defence minister said Monday (Aug 12), as doubts grow over the reliability of Chinese supplies.”

    According to Ms. Linda Reynolds, Australia has “at least 40 per cent of the known reserves of tech metals, whether it’s lithium, cobalt, nickel, graphite but also most of the rare earths that our current technology and our lifestyles today relies on (…)” — deposits that “could safeguard supplies for allies including the United States and Britain.”  

    The possibility of Western allies obtaining metals from Australia had been discussed “at length at recent Australia-US ministerial consultations and in discussions with British counterparts,” reports the Straits Times.

    The news comes on the heels of an Australian mining company striking a deal with a German industrial company to develop Rare Earths in northern Australia after terminating a previous agreement with a Chinese firm.

    Earlier last month, a partnership between the U.S., Australia and Japan which includes the setting up of a separation facility in the United States was announced.

    The next few weeks an months will be instrumental in the “tech war” — the competition to see which country will dominate the 21st Century Technology Age. As the U.S. begins to take steps aimed at breaking free from the shackles of Chinese Rare Earths dominance, it is encouraging to see this increased level of cooperation with important strategic allies like Australia. 

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  • ARPN Expert Panel Member on Strategic Metals Supply Chain in an Era of De-Globalization

    The trade war between China and the U.S., tensions between Russia and the West, the green energy transition — today’s political, geopolitical and economic pressures have significant implications for resource development. In a new piece on his blog, ARPN expert panel member and president of President of House Mountain Partners, LLC Chris Berry discusses “[t]he Strategic [...]
  • Materials Science Profiles of Progress: REE Extraction and Separation From Phosphoric Acid

    The tech war between China and the United States over who will dominate the 21st Century Technology Age is heating up. Earlier this week, China’s rare earth producers, who control the vast majority of global REE output, put out a statement declaring they are ready to “use their dominance of the industry as a weapon in [...]
  • U.S. Steps Up International Cooperation to Counter Chinese Resource Threat

    Against the backdrop of mounting Chinese-American trade tensions, the United States is stepping up cooperative efforts with allies to reduce its reliance on Chinese supplies of Rare Earths.   The most recent case in point – a partnership with Australia and Japan – includes the setting up of a separation facility in the U.S. Reports [...]
  • China’s Leverage: Supply Monopoly Shapes U.S. Policy

    In case you were wondering to what extent foreign powers are shaping domestic policy, the UK’s daily The Telegraph has a great overview piece on how “China’s supply of rare minerals, used in products like the iPhone, is causing a headache for Washington.” Using one of the most popular telecommunications gadgets – the iPhone – [...]
  • Back to Basics – The “What?,” “Why?” And “Why Now?” On Mineral Resource Policy Reform

    China, trade, rare earths, EV battery technology, greening our energy future, resource dependence … there are lots of buzzwords these days surrounding mineral resource policy. And while there is a lot more interest in critical mineral issues these days – for good reason – there is also a lot of misinformation out there. In a [...]
  • McGroarty: Tech Wars Heat Up – Administration Invokes Defense Production Act to Spur Domestic REE Development

    ARPN’s Dan McGroarty discusses President Trump’s decision to invoke the Defense Production Act to spur domestic REE development for The Economic Standard: The Tech Wars Heat Up: U.S. Makes National Security Declarations to Spur Rare Earths Development Forget the trade war – the tech war is heating up.  After weeks of Chinese threats that it [...]
  • China’s Grand Strategy to Exploit United States’ “Soft Underbelly” Goes Beyond Rare Earths

    Much is being made of China’s recent threats to cut off Rare Earth exports to the United States, and the issue has – finally – helped bring the issue of mineral resource policy reform to the forefront.  However, as Ian Easton, research fellow at the Project 2049 Institute and author of The Chinese Invasion Threat, [...]
  • Critical Mineral Uranium: No Import Quotas, But “Significant Concerns” Prompt Fuller Analysis of Nuclear Fuel Supply Chain

    Primarily known for its energy applications, (and thus falling under the purview of the Department of Energy) uranium may have not been much of a focal point for ARPN in the past.   However, the policy issues surrounding uranium – many of which have a familiar ring to followers of ARPN – increasingly warrant a [...]

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