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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • U.S. Currently Bystander in Global Battery Arms Race, ARPN Expert Tells U.S. Senate Committee

    A key global player, the United States is not used to being a bystander. Yet this is exactly what is currently happening, says Benchmark Mineral Intelligence’s Managing Director Simon Moores, addressing the full U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources this morning.

    Delivering his testimony on the outlook for energy and minerals market in the 116th Congress with a special emphasis on battery technology, Moores, who is also a member of the ARPN panel of issue experts, told senators that as battery megafactories are being built to make lithium ion battery cells “[a]t the beginning of 2019, the US has a minor to non-existent role in most of the key lithium- ion battery raw materials and only has a presence in lithium ion battery manufacturing via Tesla. Tesla and its Gigafactory 1 is emerging to be the most strategic US asset in the EV supply chain.

    Providing insightful details and supporting data for the four key battery raw materials lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite, Moores drives home an important message:

    “Those who control these critical raw materials and those who possess the manufacturing and processing know how, will hold the balance of industrial power in the 21st century auto and energy storage industries.”

    The writing is on the wall. As Moores previously stated:

    “Without low cost, abundant lithium ion batteries & secure supply chains, the US will fall behind in the EV & energy storage revolution.”

    This clearly is a scenario U.S. policy makers and other stakeholders will want to avoid, which is why moving forward on mineral resource policy reform is critical.

    We know it is much to ask of Washington, where too often, partisan politics override prudent policies. However, as another fellow ARPN expert panel member Jeff Green recently said (while addressing resource policy in the context of the defense industrial base):

    “In the new Congress, Democrats and Republicans should seek out opportunities to work together in advancing mutually sought-after goals in this critical policy area.”

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  • REEs Underscore Challenges of Erosion of Defense Industrial Base

    While policies stemming from the dominating free-trade ideology “have succeeded in generating great wealth for the U.S. economy, they have also led to a number of unintended consequences, including the erosion of the manufacturing segment of the defense industrial base,” argues Jeff Green, president of Washington, D.C.-based government relations firm J.A. Green & Company, and member of the ARPN panel of experts in a new piece for National Defense Magazine.

    Compounded by budgetary uncertainty during the Obama administration, he says, a “greatly reduced scope within the industry left the defense supply chain with a large number of single points of failure.”

    Writes Green:

    “Looking at U.S. industry more broadly, it is clear that while certain segments of manufacturing output are doing well, industries that supply defense manufacturing have sustained deep declines in recent years. The mining of non-fuel resources, for example, peaked in early 2006 and has declined ever since. The decline in textile production has been even more dramatic. At a time when the economy is increasingly dominated by service businesses, both the executive branch and Congress must take a hard look at the ideological underpinnings driving our industrial policy.”

    Green points to the example of Rare Earths and our “near sole-source dependence on China” for these elements, which are essential components of a broad range of high-tech military equipment. The lack of domestic sources creates a serious strategic vulnerability vis-à-vis our adversaries, as underscored by the 2010 decision by China to cut off REE exports to Japan – an episode ARPN followers may remember.

    Green is concerned by indications that “China may try to use the export of critical raw materials to gain geopolitical leverage over the United States,” citing a remarks by China’s former finance minister Lou Jiwei who reportedly told an audience in September of last year that China could restrict exports of core items for the U.S. manufacturing supply chain.

    Thankfully, Green says, “government policy is rapidly changing to create a more secure industrial base, highlighted by efforts to create a more favorable business climate to sustain potentially low-volume, high priority production of key materials.”

    To read Green’s full piece, in which he outlines recent government initiatives and calls on Congress to provide legislative support for executive action, click here.

    And for a an insightful primer on Rare Earths supply and demand trends watch this interview with Roskill analyst David Merriman.

     

     

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  • U.S. Senate to Hold Hearing on Energy and Mineral Markets, Member of ARPN Expert Panel to Testify

    We’ve called it “the new black.” The Guardian even went as far as ringing in the “Ion Age.”  Bearing testimony to the growing importance of battery technology, the U.S. Senate will hold a hearing examining the outlook for energy and minerals markets in the 116th Congress on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 with an emphasis on battery [...]
  • Metals in the Spotlight – Aluminum and the Intersection between Resource Policy and Trade

    While specialty and tech metals like the Rare Earths and Lithium continue to dominate the news cycles, there is a mainstay metal that has – for good reason – been making headlines as well: Aluminum.  Bloomberg recently even argued that “Aluminum Is the Market to Watch Closely in 2019.”  Included in the 2018 list of 35 [...]
  • ARPN Expert Zeroes in on Issues Surrounding Uranium – an “Underappreciated Energy Source”

    In a new series for Capital Research Center, Ned Mamula, member of the ARPN expert panel, adjunct scholar in geosciences at the Center for the Study of Science, Cato Institute, and co-author of “Groundbreaking! America’s New Quest for Mineral Independence,” takes a closer look at Uranium – an “underappreciated energy source.”  In the four-part-part series, Mamula [...]
  • Materials Science Profiles of Progress: DoE’s New Research Center on Lithium Battery Recycling to Leverage Resources of Private Sector, Universities and National Laboratories

    Speaking at the Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Energy Innovation Council last week, Energy Secretary Rick Perry announced the launch of a new research center on lithium battery recycling. The Battery Recycling R&D Center will focus on reclaiming and recycling “critical materials (e.g. cobalt and lithium) from lithium based battery technology used in consumer electronics, defense, energy [...]
  • ARPN Expert: Partisan Politics Aside, New Congress Holds Opportunity to Strengthen Defense Industrial Base

    In a new piece for Defense News, Jeff Green, president of Washington, D.C.-based government relations firm J.A. Green & Company, and member of the ARPN panel of experts, calls on lawmakers on Capitol Hill to work towards overcoming partisan divides and “find common ground to support the defense-industrial base.” One of the first analysts to [...]
  • Washington’s Mining and Resource Policy Agenda – What’s in Store for 2019?

    As we get back into the swing of things, a new piece for E&E News previews the anticipated 2019 mining and mineral resource policy agenda in Washington, DC. Here are some of the highlights: With a shift of power in the House of Representatives, hard rock leasing and reclamation issues are expected to come up [...]
  • Copper and the 2018 Critical Minerals List – Considerations for Resource Policy Reform

    While we’re still waiting for policy makers and other stakeholders to take further action, in 2018 an important step was taken to set the stage for mineral resource policy reform with the release of the Department of Interior’s List of 35 Minerals Deemed Critical to U.S. National Security and the Economy. Throughout the drafting stage [...]
  • 2019 New Year’s Resolutions for Mineral Resource Policy Reform

    Out with the old, in with the new, they say. It‘s new year‘s resolutions time.  With the end of 2017 having set the stage for potentially meaningful reform in mineral resource policy, we outlined a set of suggested resolutions for stakeholders for 2018 in January of last year.  And while several important steps  were taken [...]

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