American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Commentary: Fighting Global Climate Change Through Electrification is a Herculean Task

    In a new piece for Forbes, Jude Clemente, principal at JTC Energy Research Associates, LLC, outlines the size and scope of the ambitious climate goal of electrification to fight climate change, and discusses the underlying challenges associated with the shift. Clemente argues that the likely surge in electricity demand as the world seeks to decarbonize and shift more of our economy over to the electric grid is a “really big deal.”

    For electric cars, a statistic illustrates the magnitude of the change. Writes Clemente:

    “[W]e have 270 million oil-based cars (i.e., internal combustion engine) and only around 2 million that run on electricity. The amount of electricity that could be needed to change this may be incalculable but we know it is immense.”

    Clemente cites an analysis by experts at the University of California, Berkeley, which estimates that by 2035 the U.S. will need almost 90% more electricity than in 2018. This number assumes a scenario in which all passenger vehicles sold by 2030 are electric, and buildings and factories are also electrifying quickly.

    The challenge is compounded by the fact that “as we turn toward more intermittent renewables, electrification and the need for much more electricity must be met with reliability and resiliency,” which in turn “will require an immense build-out in new generation capacity.”

    “Scarily unmentioned,” according to Clemente – and of direct interest to all friends of ARPN — is the fact that the electric car and renewable power revolutions are “far more mineral intensive than the fossil fuel counterparts,” which has far-reaching national security implications because of the United States’ unnecessarily high degree of import reliance for critical minerals.

    And while the U.S. has been making progress with partnership agreements to manufacture lithium-ion batteries in the U.S., writes Clemente, “the bigger challenge for us than battery production is accessing the raw materials. For the energy transition, the Biden administration will need to support the full battery supply chain.”

    Clemente concludes with a nod to a 2019 Wall Street Journal piece by Mark Mills:

    “Overall, the U.S. has been appraised at ~$6.2 trillion in mineral resources, but we need a more streamlined permitting process. For example, considerable lithium reserves have been identified in Arkansas, California, Nevada, North Carolina and Utah.

    Indeed, if we truly want to fight climate change, it’s time to dig.”

  • Lawmakers on Capitol Hill Zero In on Critical Mineral Supply Chain Security

    The coronavirus pandemic has served as an eye-opener to many Americans with regards to our critical mineral resource dependencies. This, coupled with the green energy transition fueling vastly increased demand for a score of critical minerals, has prompted a flurry of activity in Washington, DC, as policymakers scramble to diversify our critical mineral sources away from China and begin the difficult work of building and strengthening resilient critical mineral supply chains.

    We have already discussed some of the Biden Administration’s policy initiatives here, but, acknowledging the urgency of the situation, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have begun introducing legislation aimed at increasing critical mineral supply chain security.

    The following is a brief overview of some of the bills that have been introduced, with more likely to follow.

    H.R.1599 — Securing America’s Critical Minerals Supply Act, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI-6)

    H.R.2604 —To improve the permitting process for critical mineral projects, and for other purposes, sponsored by Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN-8)

    H.R.2688 —To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permanently allow a tax deduction for the mining, reclaiming, or recycling of critical minerals and metals from the United States, and to support the development of domestic supply chains for rare earth elements and other critical materials essential to United States technology, manufacturing, energy, healthcare and advanced medical devices, broadband infrastructure, transportation, and national defense, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX-5) and Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-15).

    S.1352 —A bill to improve the quality and timeliness of Federal permitting and review processes with respect to critical mineral production on Federal land, and for other purposes, sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

    H.R.2637 —To promote the domestic exploration, research, development, and processing of critical minerals to ensure the economic and national security of the United States, and for other purposes, sponsored by Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL-6)

    Several bills aim at curbing executive powers to restrict domestic mining:

    H.R.543 — POWER Act, sponsored by Rep. Yvette Harrell (R-NM-2)

    S.76 — POWER Act of 2021, sponsored by Sen. Cynthia M. Lummis (R-WY)

    H.R.488 —Saving America’s Mines Act, sponsored by Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN-8)

    H.R.859 —Protecting American Energy Jobs Act, sponsored by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO-3)

    For more information on the bills, including full text, summaries, and status, click on the hyperlinked bill number.

    We’ll be keeping tabs on legislative developments, so check back for updates.

  • As Renewable Energy Push on Capitol Hill Intensifies, Inherent Irony of Green New Deal is Apparent

    As the Biden Administration intensifies its efforts to promote its ambitious renewable energy agenda, energy analyst David Blackmon recently took aim in a piece for Forbes at what we previously called the “Green New Deal’s inherent irony”: the fact that “the same green lobby that advocates for the ‘Green New Deal’ is perhaps the largest [...]
  • Podcast: Battery Tech Supply Chain Expert Simon Moores Discusses Lithium Challenge

    American Jobs Plan, Green New Deal … irrespective of whether these plans will get implemented fully or in part, the renewable energy transition is already here, and it’s here to stay. The renewable energy sector has been transforming at neck-breaking speed, and with that, demand for the metals and minerals underpinning the green energy shift [...]
  • Mining Industry Expert: “A Serious Conversation About Infrastructure and Clean Energy Must Start at the Beginning of the Supply Chain. It’s Time to Boost Domestic Supply of Copper”

    As was to be expected, President Joe Biden used his State of the Union address to both chambers of Congress to tout his American Jobs Plan, which has been billed as comprehensive package to make the economy more productive through investments in infrastructure, education, work force development and fighting climate change. And while nobody can [...]
  • “Sustainably Greening the Future” Roundup – Mining and Advanced Materials Industries Harness Materials Science in Green Energy Shift

    The Biden Administration has shifted focus to its next major legislative priority in the context of the president’s “Build Back Better” agenda — a multi-trillion dollar jobs and infrastructure package. Billed as a plan to make the economy more productive through investments in infrastructure, education, work force development and fighting climate change, the package will [...]
  • A Look North: Challenges and Opportunities Relating to Canada’s Critical Mineral Resource Dependence on China

    Like the United States, Canada has subjected itself to an “increasingly uncomfortable reliance” on China for critical mineral supplies, but its wealth of metals and minerals beneath the country’s soil could, if properly harnessed, give Canada a significant strategic advantage in years to come, mining executives and experts recently told Canada’s House of Commons resource [...]
  • The Road to “Building Back Better” is Paved with Critical Metals and Minerals

    Another round of COVID relief stimulus checks is hitting Americans’ bank account this week, and a vaccine schedule laid has been laid out. Time for the Administration and Congress to move on to the next key priority of the Biden Administration’s “Build Back Better” agenda: an economic recovery package that will “make historic investments in [...]
  • Free Markets Alone Will Not Solve REE Crisis

    In a new piece for Defense News, Jeffery A. Green, president of J. A. Green & Company and a member of the ARPN panel of experts, takes exception to a recent opinion piece by the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board on the current rare earth crisis. The opinion piece had argued that the situation wasn’t [...]
  • Canada’s Just-Released List of 31 Critical Minerals Includes Key Gateway Metals

    As demand for critical minerals is increasing in the context of the global shift towards a green energy future, Canada’s Minister of Resources Seamus O’Regan Jr. earlier this week announced the release of a Canadian list of 31 metals and minerals deemed critical “for the sustainable economic success of Canada and our allies—minerals that can [...]