President Joe Biden says he wants America to lead in “clean energy” production, but he’s again blocking American producers from developing the rare earth minerals essential to make it happen.
The federal government owns huge chunks of the American West, home to critical minerals like lithium, vital to technologies like electric vehicle batteries — but Biden is blocking their development under federal lands.
Biden on Tuesday banned access to nearly 514,000 acres of public land, including a new national park in Nevada, Avi Kwa Ame.
Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo said Biden did not consult with him prior to this designation, despite the silver state having huge deposits of lithium.
This is particularly frustrating because Nevada is 80% federally owned – compare that to New York, less than 1%, Pennsylvania (where robust shale drilling is being drilled) 2.2%, South Dakota 5 .4% and Texas only 2%.
Blocking essential mining needed to meet Biden’s “clean energy” goals negates reality – the mining infrastructure isn’t there.
China dominates, with around 80% of the mining market for these minerals, and undermines human rights to do so, through child and slave labor.
By the way, “clean energy” requires minerals mined using acidic drainage, sewage runoff and other environmentally sensitive factors, a major reason why US resources have remained untapped.
“We believe this is hypocrisy on every level. It’s illogical on every level, and it hurts Alaska and the United States. Not everyone believes they really want to produce essential minerals,” Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy told me over the phone.
“I would be the first to praise the Biden administration if I saw it, but all we see is an ongoing series of actions against Alaska’s ability to develop its resources, including minerals.”
Alaska is 61% federally owned, and Dunleavy pointed to Biden’s preemptive veto, through the Environmental Protection Agency, on the Alaskan Pebble project, which the governor says contains about $1 trillion worth of copper – potentially the largest copper mine in the world. (He was blocked for allegedly endangering salmon streams.)
The governor said federal agencies blocked Alaskans trying to build a road to the Ambler mining district.
“It’s an ongoing fight with these guys,” Dunleavy said.
Dunleavy noted that US power generation regulations are stricter than those of market leaders China and Russia.
He expressed disappointment over a June 2021 White House Biden report referencing critical minerals, a 250-page missive that mentions Australia 60 times and Canada 32 times but Alaska only once. in a footnote.
Last week, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise introduced HR 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, which aims to revive US energy producers, in part by authorizing the reform of critical minerals.
Scalise told me he wasn’t surprised by Biden’s energy report highlighting foreign countries ahead of Alaska and other US states.
“President Biden has made it clear from day one, when he declared war on American energy, that he would rather make our country dependent on other countries for energy and essential minerals than do so. here in America,” Scalise said.
“Energy costs are exorbitant in part because President Biden has made us dependent on foreign countries by shutting down America for energy production and essential minerals. This is madness.
“But that’s Biden’s agenda.”
Mark Mills of the Manhattan Institute examined the underreported realities behind Biden’s ambitious environmental goals, examining a 2021 International Energy Agency report on wind, solar and battery technologies.
Mills notes: “The IEA finds that with a global energy transition such as that envisioned by President Biden, demand for key minerals such as lithium, graphite, nickel and rare earth metals would explode, increasing by 4,200 %, 2500%, 1900% and 700%, respectively, by 2040.”
Greg Todd, director of the Utah Office of Energy Development, told me that 73% of Utah’s mining districts are on federal lands and that the state is home to at least 40 of the critical minerals recognized by the government. federal, among other resources.
“It’s hard to understand an administration that both intentionally complicates licensing processes and throws away millions of dollars in funds to develop those same resources,” Todd said.
“A benevolent administration is essential to our work in the state, and the resources we can extract on federal lands have nationwide implications, including for energy security.”
“Benign” is a low bar for Biden.
Americans deserve much better than that — a president who proactively puts the interests of his citizens ahead of those of foreigners and doesn’t spout green rhetoric belied by his actions.
Carrie Sheffield is Senior Researcher at Independent Women’s Voice and Tony Blankley Fellow for American Exceptionalism at the Steamboat Institute.
New York Post