-->
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.”

    Share
  • 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 potential obstacle to its success.”

    Blackmon thinks we could “be about to witness a replay of the politics of the Shale Revolution, only this time those politics will be playing out around the mining of the country’s own supplies of rare earth minerals,” as the “traditional priorities” and policy goals of the green lobby “collide with the realities on the ground.” Or as friends of ARPN might put it …the realities under the ground.

    After an early — largely bipartisan — consensus on shale gas representing an opportunity to reduce emissions and reliably deliver an alternative to coal in the onset of the Shale Revolution, hydraulic “fracking” was quickly vilified by the green lobby, to the point that, as Blackmon observes, “[t]oday, the leaders of the Democratic party talk about natural gas in power generation more as a nuisance to be quickly eliminated than as a ‘bridge fuel’ that has done so much to create cleaner air in this country.”

    Blackmon says “[t]he question for those promoting this ‘energy transition’ will inevitably become whether the same kinds of destructive and costly political dynamics can be avoided when it comes to efforts to mine for large U.S. resources of minerals such as lithium, cobalt and others?”

    Walking through several of the key metals and minerals fueling the green energy transition — copper, cobalt, nickel, and antimony, all of which could be developed domestically but in which efforts to do so are running into opposition — Blackmon says for the Green New Deal to succeed, “something will have to ultimately give.”

    His bottom line:

    “There will be no successful ‘energy transition’ or ‘Green New Deal’ implementation in the United States unless companies are allowed to access this country’s own plentiful supplies of these and other rare earth minerals. Anyone who is serious about the energy transition and countering Chinese dominance in critical mineral and rare earth development should support domestic policies that ensure responsible but swift mining development for these minerals.”

    Click here to read Blackmon’s full piece.

    Share
  • 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 [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Sec. Granholm, DoE Embrace Domestic EV Mineral Production “So Long As It Is Done Sustainably”

    With the “battery arms race” turbocharged by the coronavirus pandemic, observers are concerned that Lithium ion batteries could become “geopolitical hot potatoes.” In light of these developments, the latest statements from newly-confirmed Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, coupled with the recently-signed executive order on strengthening U.S. supply chains, are encouraging indications that the new Administration [...]
  • A Pivotal Moment to “Get Serious About Building the Domestic Mineral Supply Chain”

    Last month, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order instructing his economic and national security teams to conduct a 100 day review of four key U.S. supply chains across federal agencies to assess the nation’s “resiliency and capacity of the American manufacturing supply chains and defense industrial base to support national security [and] emergency [...]
  • China’s Saber-Rattling over Rare Earths Card Getting Louder

    After months of rumblings, it appears that China is gearing up to play its “rare earths card” again. Citing people involved in a government consultation, the Financial Times reports that Beijing is gauging exactly how badly companies in the United States and Europe, including U.S. defense contractors, would be affected by plans to restrict exports [...]

Archives