In a recent piece for The Hill, William Murray, federal energy policy manager, and Ned Mamula, associate fellow for the Washington, D.C.-based R Street Institute, lament that while policy makers and stakeholders are increasingly focusing on energy security issues, leaders are failing to pay “the same attention to a national security risk at least as large as oil import dependency was a decade ago – the domestic supply of critical and strategic minerals.”
Murray and Mamula argue that if China were to cut off exports of key minerals, the $2.8 trillion U.S. manufacturing economy along with “critical components of the U.S. military’s present and future arsenal” would be at risk of severe supply disruptions – a scenario that would not seem far-fetched for followers of ARPN, who are acutely aware of our nation’s largely home-grown mineral resource dependencies.
Outlining some of the policies that have led to a scenario where the United States is effectively at the mercy of China when it comes to meeting our manufacturing base’s non-fuel mineral resource needs, Murray and Mamula point to solutions to our dilemma. Some of these solutions – which our very own Dan McGroarty outlined to U.S. Senators in recent congressional testimony – are readily available, and include permitting reform, and setting up cooperatives “similar to the co-ops currently used by the agriculture, ethanol, lumber and hardware industries,” among other things.
The authors’ bottom line hits home:
“Decades of ill-advised resource policies have contributed to our current addiction to imported minerals. If the successful turnaround in U.S. energy security has taught us anything, it’s that dependence on imports can be solved with a combination of political will and private-sector initiative. It’s time to start digging, America.”
Click here to read the full piece.