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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.”

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  • Podcast: Battery Tech Supply Chain Expert Simon Moores Discusses Lithium Challenge

    American Jobs Plan, Green New Deal … irrespective of whether these plans will get implemented fully or in part, the renewable energy transition is already here, and it’s here to stay.

    The renewable energy sector has been transforming at neck-breaking speed, and with that, demand for the metals and minerals underpinning the green energy shift has been surging. EV battery technology is one of the key drivers of these developments, and battery mega factories are shooting up like mushrooms.

    In a recent podcast interview with HC Insider, Simon Moores — managing director of Benchmark Mineral Intelligence and a member of the ARPN panel of experts — zeroes in on lithium, one of the key building blocks of battery technology.

    As HC Insider points out, “[lithium] mining is constrained by available ores and multiyear start up times. Chemical processing and cathode production is technically challenging, environmentally impactful, and concentrated in China. EV manufacturers are buying all the Lithium supply they can on decade-long contracts.”

    With demand forecast to vastly outstrip supply two decades from now, the question of how the rest of the world can tackle the lithium supply chain challenges going forward looms large.

    Take a listen as Simon Moores, who has testified before the U.S. Congress on several occasions to alert U.S. policy makers to the magnitude of the global battery arms race, discusses the issue here.

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  • With Asteroid Mining Likely Unattainable for the Time Being, U.S. Must Focus on Reducing Supply Chain Vulnerabilities – Here on Earth

    According to NASA, the Hubble Telescope earlier this month collected imagery of an asteroid “so rich in metals that its worth puts our global economy to shame.” Already discovered in 1852, the celestial body is located in the Solar System’s main asteroid belt, roughly 370 million km from Earth. The object, which has been called [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Critical Minerals and the Defense Industrial Base: Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Testifies Before Senate Armed Services Subcommittee

    Hours after President Donald Trump issued a new executive order declaring a national emergency on critical minerals, the U.S. Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support received testimony from Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen M. Lord on the integrity of America’s critical minerals supply chains. Kicking off the hearing, [...]
  • Scandium Has Yet to Go “Ballistic” — Will Recent Developments Change the Material’s Odds to Shine?

    “This obscure metal is going to go ballistic in a few years,” John Kaiser of Kaiser Research told the Investing News Network a few years ago. The metal he was referring to is Scandium — a material that is “as strong as titanium, as light as aluminum, and as hard as ceramic.” It’s a material [...]
  • Europe Comes to Terms with Mineral Supply Challenges, Unveils Action Plan

    As the U.S. explores its options when it comes to diversifying our critical minerals supply chains away from China in the wake of COVID-19, Europe is coming to grips with its own mineral supply challenges. According to European metals association Eurometaux, the region “has reached a critical fork in the road,” as it grapples with [...]
  • Europe Forges Ahead With Battery Gigafactory Buildout As U.S. Still Struggles to Get Off Starting Block

    The current coronavirus pandemic may have thrown a wrench into the gears of many industries, but — against the backdrop of skyrocketing materials supply needs in the context of the green energy transition — Europe continues to forge ahead with the buildout of its large-scale battery gigafactory capacity.  According to London-based Benchmark Mineral Intelligence, whose [...]
  • U.S. Import Reliance, Supply Chains, and National Security – A Visual

    The current coronavirus pandemic will have a lasting impact on many aspects of social life and public policy. With nations struggling to secure critical medicines and other supplies, many of which are sourced from China, the global crisis is increasingly exposing the challenges associated with supply chain security — for medical devices, for personal protective [...]
  • Canada and U.S. to Draft “Joint Action Plan” on Rare Earths / Critical Minerals

    After years of missed opportunities to prioritize mineral resource policy, the U.S. government is stepping up its efforts to secure critical mineral resource supply chains.   The latest case in point is the drafting of a “joint action plan” with our neighbors to the North to reduce reliance on Chinese supplies of Rare Earth Elements (REEs) — which, [...]

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