Underscoring the timeliness of the American Resources-sponsored Strategic Minerals Conference 2012, Sterling Burnett, a senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis, has a piece on The Hill’s Congress Blog outlining how current domestic mining policies threaten our national security and economy.
A few of Burnett’s key points:
· The latest WTO case filed by the U.S., EU and Japan against China underscores that our dependence on foreign supplies of non-fuel minerals is much greater than our dependence on foreign oil.
· The U.S. has gone from being the world’s main Rare Earths producer to being entirely at the mercy of China, which accounts for 91 percent of U.S. supply [while it should be noted that other suppliers only refine mainly Chinese materials rather than producing their own Rare Earths]
· Rare Earths are vital components of U.S. military applications as well as critical elements in petroleum refining, and green energy, as well as medical applications.
· Particularly in light of China’s history of using its near-total Rare Earths monopoly as a geopolitical weapon and ongoing export restrictions for critical minerals, the U.S.’s failure to develop a comprehensive mineral strategy aimed at maximizing our resource potential (more than $6.2 trillion worth of key mineral resources) is unconscionable.
· Fortunately, Congressional efforts to overhaul flawed resource policies of the past are underway.
As the Pentagon faces substantial budget cuts, it’s imperative that our leaders examine each foreign policy decision for its national security implications. Whatever happens at the WTO, the United States must take a page from China’s playbook and utilize our own minerals to bolster security.
Exactly how the U.S. can get there, and what role the public and private sectors can and must play will be debated by a fantastic lineup of speakers and panelists at our Strategic Minerals Conference, which will take place on June 6th, 2012 in Washington, DC.
To learn more about the one-day event you won’t want to miss visit www.strategicmineralsconference.com