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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski

  • HOMEPAGE >> BLOG >> Sen. Lisa Murkowski
  • U.S. Senator: “Our Energy Future Is Bright, But Only If We Recognize The World We Are In”

    As the tech wars over Rare Earths and other critical metals and minerals deepen, competition is heating up in another field of resource policy.  In a new piece for the Washington Times, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) discusses the new realities of a globalized energy market and the consequences associated with America’s declining nuclear energy sector.

    While America’s energy dominance is unquestionable, “we cannot rest on our laurels,”writes Sen. Murkowski, who worries that the federal government has been too slow to adjust, and that “our striking lack of robust tools for economic statecraft impairs our ability to reach commercial deals and build critical infrastructure on a strategic basis.”

    “[O]ne of the few technologies that can provide zero-emission on-demand heat and electricity,” she says, is nuclear energy, but with eight reactors having closed in the United States since 2013, and only two new reactors being built, this industry is facing rapid decline, in spite of the fact that the new generation of nuclear power features reactors that are “smaller, safer, operate more flexibly, have higher efficiency, produce less or no waste, and have additional operational benefits over the existing fleet.”

    To counter the decline, Congress is working to speed up the development of such advanced reactors, and we are currently awaiting the results of the “U.S. Nuclear Fuel Working Group” announced in July to conduct a “fuller analysis of national security considerations with respect to the entire nuclear fuel supply chain,” the findings of which are due later this year.

    However, Sen. Murkowski says, “demonstrating the technology at home as an energy and climate solution is not sufficient to enable competitive global nuclear exports” and argues that the U.S. is ceding its edge in the global competition for energy dominance to Russia and China, state-owned companies of which are offering financing, fuel services and technical know-how to nations turning to nuclear technology to meet rising energy demands. 

    Touting her “Strategic Energy Initiative (SEI)” which she unveiled in July to “sharpen and direct our tools of energy- related economic statecraft to enhance the geopolitical posture of the United States,” she closes:

    “Our energy future is bright, but only if we recognize the world we are in. Prosperity, after all, is not a birthright. We as Americans know that it is earned.”

    To learn more about the Strategic Energy Initiative aimed at sharpening the focus of and strengthening federal departments and agencies, such as the Department of Energy, and trade and finance-related institutions such as the Trade Development Agency, the Export-Import Bank, and the Development Finance Corporation (as it evolves from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation), click here

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  • ARPN’s McGroarty Quoted in Daily Caller Piece on the Specter of China Playing the “Rare Earths Card”

    Reporting for the Daily Caller, Michael Bastasch zeroes in on what has once again become a hot button issue – Rare Earth Elements (REEs) in the context of trade relations, as reported Chinese threats to “escalate its trade dispute with the Trump administration to include rare earth minerals has, once again, shined a spotlight on U.S. dependency for elements used in hundreds of hi-tech products and military equipment.”

    Bastasch cites ARPN’s Dan McGroarty, who says that “China is letting the U.S. know that it has leverage.”

    Followers of ARPN will remember that China is no stranger to playing politics with its near-total rare earth supply monopoly.

    McGroarty hopes that these threats could in fact serve as a catalyst for Congressional and/or executive actions to reduce our nation’s over-reliance on foreign mineral imports – because the issue is, to a large extent, a self-inflicted problem. 

    Says McGroarty:

    “The irony, and that is an understatement, is that the U.S. has rare earth deposits capable of meeting national security needs, and ending the reliance on China. With China saber-rattling on the rare earths, this could be the time for a strong U.S. response.”

    Bastasch outlines the scope of our REE dependence and legislative efforts currently underway on Capitol Hill, which we have discussed on our blog, including a Senate bill introduced by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and House legislation sponsored by Rep. Mark Amodei of Nevada.

    McGroarty is hopeful that efforts to overhaul our nation’s mineral resource policy which have long been lagging may get traction in light of the looming specter of China playing the “rare earths card,” saying that “Congress is working now on the 2020 defense bill, with signs that there will be legislation directing the Pentagon to act to incentivize U.S. rare earth production.”

    Whether or not China will go through with this threat remains to be seen, but we could not agree more with Dan Kish, distinguished senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, whom Bastasch quotes as saying:

    “Regardless of the outcome of trade discussions, this matter must be addressed.”

    Click here to read the full article. 

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  • Trade Tensions Underscore Need for Mineral Resource Policy Reform

    While 2018 brought the inter-relationship between trade and resource policy to the forefront, this trend is continuing in 2019.   Last week, the White House announced sanctions on Iranian metals, which represent the Tehran regime’s biggest source of export revenue aside from petroleum.  The sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum and copper sectors represent the [...]
  • Lawmakers Introduce New Legislation Aimed at Changing United States’ “Bystander” Status in Race for Critical Minerals

    As pressures mount for the United States to bolster its position as a non-fuel mineral raw materials producer amidst the ongoing battery tech revolution, a group of U.S. Senators have introduced legislation to boost domestic production of critical minerals. The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., Martha McSally, R-Ariz., and [...]
  • U.S. Senators Introduce Legislation in Push to Re-Establish U.S. Domestic REE Supply Chain

    Bearing testimony to a nascent – and long-overdue – broader awareness of our nation’s over-reliance on foreign mineral resources, three U.S. senators have introduced new legislation aimed to reduce U.S. dependence on Chinese imports of rare earth elements (REEs). REEs are key components of a wide range of high-tech products across all walks of life [...]
  • McGroarty Warns of Real World Problem for 21st Century American Warrior

    In a new commentary for Investor’s Business Daily, ARPN principal Daniel McGroarty warns of “America’s unilateral disarmament in the resource wars.”  Invoking the world of Marvel comics, in which Vibranium is the imaginary metal used for Captain America’s shield, IronMan’s exoskeleton, and Black Panther’s energy-absorbing suit, McGroarty argues that the 21st Century American warrior (perhaps [...]
  • Washington’s Mining and Resource Policy Agenda – What’s in Store for 2019?

    As we get back into the swing of things, a new piece for E&E News previews the anticipated 2019 mining and mineral resource policy agenda in Washington, DC. Here are some of the highlights: With a shift of power in the House of Representatives, hard rock leasing and reclamation issues are expected to come up [...]
  • Senate Committee Chairman in Critical Minerals Hearing: No “Immaculate Conception” – iPhones, Fighter Jets, Solar Panels, All These Things Don’t Just Appear Out of Thin Air

    Earlier this week, the full U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to “examine the Department of the Interior’s final list of critical minerals for 2018 and opportunities to strengthen the United States’ mineral security.” Panelists included representatives from USGS and the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) as well as industry stakeholders and [...]
  • 2016 – A Mixed Bag for Mineral Resource Policy

    It’s that time of the year again.  And as people are gearing up for the New Year, we are taking the opportunity to take stock of the last twelve months, and want to highlight a few select notable developments of relevance to ARPN followers. From a mineral resource policy perspective, we saw some positive developments [...]
  • Through The Gateway – We Have the Reserves, So Why Aren’t We A Copper Net Exporter?

    Over the past few weeks, we’ve taken you on a journey “Through the Gateway.” We have looked at some of the key properties and supply and demand picture for Copper, as well as Copper’s co-products Tellurium, Selenium, Rhenium and Molybdenum.* It has become abundantly clear that Copper is a critical mineral, not just as a stand-alone traditional mainstay metal, but also as a gateway to the (mostly) rare tech metals it [...]

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