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  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski

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  • Sens. Manchin and Murkowski Call on Administration to Prioritize Initiatives to Maintain and Strengthen U.S. Leadership and Rebuild Productive Capacity in Key Sectors and Value Chains

    Against the backdrop of ever-increasing pressures on critical mineral supply chains, we are seeing a flurry of activity on the part of government stakeholders to shore up supply of the metals and minerals underpinning 21st Century.

    While it is certainly encouraging that these developments are not only underway but are also increasingly making headlines and garnering the attention of the American people, it is important to ensure that legislative efforts to strengthen our nation’s critical mineral supply chains are not only enacted, but actually implemented, and that timelines set forth in enacted legislation are in fact met.

    Unfortunately, new laws are not always effectively implemented.  Case in point:  that’s the charge made in recent correspondence by U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), a senior member of the committee, in a series of joint letters to key members of the Biden Administration.

    In letters to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, and U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, Sens. Manchin and Murkowski lamented the delayed implementation of a set of provisions included in the Energy Act of 2020 and the bipartisan infrastructure package passed last year, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

    Citing several lapsed deadlines set forth in both legislative packages and highlighting U.S. vulnerabilities “due to the lack of domestic production and processing of critical minerals, including rare earth elements,” the Senators called on the Administration to prioritize

    the “substantial new authorities and federal assistance to boost domestic mineral supplies” mandated via the Energy Act of 2020, and the bipartisan infrastructure package, and to “ensure crucial deadlines are met.”

    They concluded:

    “While we appreciate the President’s focus on this issue, including the recent invocation of the Defense Production Act, a whole-of-government approach is required to meet this challenge. Timely implementation of the provisions of the Energy Act are crucial to ensuring that America’s critical mineral supply chains are strong, responsibly produced, and ethically sourced.” 

    Meanwhile, momentum appears to be building to strengthen the U.S. strategic minerals stockpile. The Department of Defense has submitted a legislative proposal to request authorization of $253.5 million to procure critical minerals in the FY 2023 defense authorization bill, while the House Armed Services Committee is reportedly seeking to bolster the United States’ supplies of specifically Rare Earths as part of the National Defense in the same bill.

    As the geopolitical stakes continue to get higher in light of Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine and China’s Xi Jinping doubling-down on its zero-Covid policy earlier this month which may lead to more lockdowns with serious economic disruption and trade consequences, here’s hoping that U.S. stakeholders are ready to not only talk the talk, but also walk the walk.

    Click here to read the Senators’ letter to U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

    Click here to read the Senators’ letter to U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.

    Click here to read the Senators’ letter to U.S. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland.

    Click here to read the Senators’ letter to U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines.


  • 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, as well as electric vehicle and energy storage supply chains.

    Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) delivered the keynotes, highlighting the most recent presidential executive order on critical minerals and calling for complementary congressional action.

    Benchmark Mineral Intelligence has now made highlights from the event, including the keynote addresses, available for streaming.

    So if you need a break from scrolling for election updates as they trickle in from the remaining battle ground states, take a look here.

  • Event Alert: Benchmark Webinar on Lithium Ion Battery, EV and Energy Storage Supply Chain Issues

    Against the backdrop of a new presidential executive order declaring a critical minerals “national emergency” for the United States, Benchmark Mineral Intelligence will host its “Washington DC Summit 2020 – Online” on Tuesday, October 20th, at 1p.m. EST. This year’s virtual summit will bring together U.S. Government representatives and industry stakeholders to discuss materials challenges [...]
  • Russia Pushes for Global Rare Earth Market Share as U.S. Struggles to Move Forward With Critical Minerals Initiatives

    Russia is certainly making headlines this week.  Quite obviously, much of the media attention is focused around President Vladimir Putin’s declaration that Russia has approved a vaccine for the coronavirus (after less than two months of testing) — but developments in the critical minerals realm also warrant attention: A top Russian government official has told [...]
  • Experts to U.S. Senators: It’s “Not Too Late for the U.S.” to Secure Mineral Supply Chains Post-COVID, “But Action is Needed Now”

    In a timely hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, witnesses discussed the urgency of securing U.S. mineral supply chains in a post-COVID context.  Committee Chair Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who has long been an advocate of comprehensive mineral resource policy reform set the stage arguing that “[t]he pandemic has brought [...]
  • ARPN Expert Panel Member: U.S. Must Turn to Building Out Critical Mineral Supply Chains Securing Both Inputs and Outputs

    Earlier this month, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), long one of the leaders on Capitol Hill pushing for a comprehensive overhaul of our nation’s mineral resource policy, addressed the challenges of our nation’s over-reliance on foreign – and especially China-sourced critical metals and minerals against the backdrop of the current Coronavirus pandemic in a post [...]
  • Tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec. 10 – U.S. House Committee to Hold Hearing on “Research and Innovation to Address the Critical Materials Challenge”

    On Tuesday, December 10 — close to the two-year anniversary of the White House’s executive order “to develop a federal strategy to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals” the House Science, Space and Technology Committee will hold a hearing on “Research and Innovation to Address the Critical Materials Challenge.” The hearing comes against the backdrop of increased [...]
  • Time to Reduce Our Reliance on “Untrustworthy Countries for Strategically Important Minerals”

    As we recover from collective food coma and return to our desks after a tumultuous Thanksgiving travel week, J. Winston Porter, a former EPA assistant administrator in Washington, reminds us of the importance of keeping the focus on the issues associated with our over-reliance on foreign mineral resources.    In a new piece for InsideSources, Porter [...]
  • Sen. Murkowski, Panelists, Underscore Urgency of Securing Critical Mineral Supply Chains

    “With our eyes wide open, we are putting ourselves in the same vulnerable position [as we did with oil and gas decades ago] when it comes to these [critical] minerals,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) told the audience at “Minerals: The Overlooked Foundation of Our Future,” an event organized by RealClearPolitics in partnership with our friends [...]
  • With Rare Display of Bipartisanship in Congress and Resource Partnership Announcement With Allied Nations, Momentum Building for Mineral Resource Policy Reform

    Late last week, we witnessed the formal announcement of a forthcoming roll out of an “action plan” to counter Chinese dominance in the critical minerals sector during Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s week-long state visit to the U.S.. According to news reports the plan will “open a new front against China in a widening technology and trade war by exploiting [...]