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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Food For Thought:  To Drive Down Reliance on Fossil Fuels, Change Perception of Profession of Geology

    Wherever you come down on the political spectrum —  there is no denying that we find ourselves in the midst of a green energy transition.  Followers of ARPN know that the current push towards a lower-carbon future  hinges on sustainable and reliable access to metals and minerals, which are the building blocks of renewable energy technology. 

    A new piece for The Conversation looks at the issue from a fresh angle – through the prism of the profession of geologist. Writers Craig Storey, James Darling and Nick Koor, geologists from the United Kingdom, observe: 

    “Sadly – and wrongly – the most common view of geology as a profession is that its primary role is in the discovery and extraction of fossil fuels.

    But if we are to radically reduce emissions and move towards a low carbon economy, we’ll need geologists. Technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels or electric cars all require a wide range of natural materials that themselves are finite and often buried deep underground. By focusing on these materials, and the challenges of setting up all this new infrastructure, the discipline of geology can transition from being part of the climate problem to being part of the solution.”

    The three lament that the rise of the Extinction Rebellion movement has “changed the way young people think about the environment and the possible careers they want to pursue” — and the misunderstood “dirty polluter” image assigned to the geology profession is “not attractive to the many young people who care deeply about the planet and want to pursue a career that does not harm it.”

    Their bottom line:  a change in the perception of the profession of geologist is urgently needed — so that a new class of geologists will be trained to “drive down our reliance on fossil fuels.”  

    “[t]o transition to a carbon-neutral economy (if that’s ever quite achievable), we need dramatically to increase the available resources of a variety of so-called critical raw materials. Wind and other green sources of energy require significant geological expertise to ensure structural stability together with the raw earth materials needed for construction and power.

    Their “‘call to arms’ to unite geologists along with a coordinated effort from industry, professional bodies, learned societies, and the education sector to change the way geology is perceived, away from the ‘dirty polluter’ to ‘environmental guardian’” provides some valuable food for thought In the current policy discourse. Hopefully stakeholders will take note. 

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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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  • McGroarty for the Economic Standard: In the Arctic Resource Wars, Greenland is a Hot Property

    In a new piece for The Economic Standard, ARPN’s Dan McGroarty puts the current controversy over President Trump’s quip about wanting to buy Greenland from Denmark in context. Invoking President Truman’s offer to purchase Greenland in 1946 as well as Secretary of State William Henry Seward’s 1867 purchase of Alaska — for which he received [...]
  • 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 — [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • EPA Withdrawal of Preemptive Veto of Alaska Strategic Mineral Mining Project Positive Development for Due Process

    Amidst a recent uptick in government actions aimed at increasing domestic mineral resource development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) earlier this month withdrew its preemptive proposed determination to restrict use of one of the largest domestic deposits of key strategic mineral resources (Copper, Molybdenum, Gold, Silver and Rhenium) in Southwestern Alaska.  As followers of [...]
  • 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 [...]

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