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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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  • 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 Metals Supply Chain in an Era of De-globalization.”

    Setting the stage by using the examples of Lithium, Cobalt and the Rare Earths, Berry argues that while in his research “drivers of the macro economy have historically either been political or economic in nature, but rarely both at the same time,” the current resource policy and investment climate is different today as a “confluence of macro-economic and political forces are converging all at once to place investors and corporations at a unique crossroads vis- à-vis investment along the strategic metals supply chain.”

    Berry outlines what he considers the current drivers of overall investor sentiment in the markets and outlines how the convergence of these drivers is spooking corporate capital expenditure decisions, with the trade war between the U.S. and China being the first of many.  As an expert focused on the field of energy metals, Berry acknowledges however, that “this doom and gloom does mask some very positive longer-term dynamics around the energy metals/EV thesis,” and that justifying a “long-term bearish thesis” would be difficult.

    In fact, he says, “the dismantling of the existing global trading system and its eventual replacement is exactly what you’d want to see as an investor along the strategic metals supply chain,” and sees a “unique opportunity for project-level investment.”

    Berry, who will elaborate further on the economic, financial and geopolitical aspects of the energy transition in a forthcoming book set to publish in 2020, concludes with an appeal for “strategic thinking on the parts of Western governments, corporations, and other stakeholders” as “the societal, economic and national security implications” surrounding the electrification of transportation and energy storage “are simply too significant to ignore.”

    Click here to read the full piece. 

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  • Greenland at the Heart of Resource Race in 21st Century Tech War

    While a deal is not likely to happen, and some question whether the comment was more quip than opening offer, President Trump’s recent interest in buying Greenland from Denmark has done one thing: bring Greenland and the Arctic into focus.   The President’s suggestion has been ridiculed by many, but from a strategic perspective — [...]
  • 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 – [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Moving Beyond the Report Stage? – Specter of REE Supply Disruptions Prompts Congressional Action on Critical Minerals

    The U.S. and China have resumed trade talks after last month’s meeting between U.S. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka broke a deadlock — but key issues remain far from settled. Against the backdrop of both sides preparing for a protracted battle, Jeff Green, president [...]
  • Mamula and Bridges: Hardrock “Modernization” Bills Could Do More Harm Than Good

    “Does America stand for self-reliance and innovative discovery of critical minerals for our economy and national defense and security? Or will Congress drive the fatal stake through the heart of our struggling domestic metals mining industry?” According to a new Washington Examiner piece by Cato Institute Adjunct Scholar in Geosciences and ARPN expert panel member [...]

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