-->
American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • resource dependence

  • HOMEPAGE >> BLOG >> resource dependence
  • 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 [...]
  • Amidst Big Policy Shifts, Signs for Continued Emphasis on Securing Critical Mineral Supply Chains at DoE

    Parents of young children will know: Transitions are hard. And what is true for toddlers, is also true for government. Observers of the critical mineral resource realm have been closely monitoring the transition from the Trump Administration to the Biden Administration. There were early indications that, unlike some other areas, the critical mineral resource realm [...]
  • 2020 – A Watershed Year for Resource Policy

    ARPN’s Year in Review — a Cursory Review of the United States’ Critical Mineral Resource Challenge in 2020 It feels like just a few weeks ago many of us quipped that April 2020 seemed like the longest month in history, yet here we are: It’s mid-December, and we have almost made it through 2020. It’s [...]
  • Critical Minerals Will be Key to “Building Back Better”

    The dust begins to settle over the 2020 presidential elections, and President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are busy lining up their policy and personnel priorities. As the National Mining Association’s Rich Nolan writes in a new piece for Inside Sources, “much of their agenda rests on a foundation provided by the nation’s [...]
  • Take a Break from Election Scrolling – Watch Highlights from Webinar on Lithium Ion Battery, EV and Energy Storage Supply Chain Issues

    While it seems that for weeks, all eyes have been on the Presidential elections in the U.S., earlier in October, our friends of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence hosted its Washington DC Summit 2020, which brought together U.S. Government representatives and industry stakeholders to discuss materials challenges — specifically in the realm of lithium ion battery technology, [...]
  • U.S. Senator and AK Governor for The Hill: With China Having Taken Control of Critical Mineral Supply Chains, We Need to Act Now

    Beijing’s threat to withhold potentially life-saving medical supplies and medications in the middle of a global pandemic, during which China has “taken control of [respective] supply chains around the world as part of its quest for global domination,” were a wake up call, write U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R-AK) in [...]

Archives