WASHINGTON DC (October 21, 2021) – The Institute for Energy Research (IER) announced today that Mary Hutzler, Distinguished Senior Fellow, will testify before the U.S House Republican forum titled “Biden’s Afghanistan Crisis: Forfeiting U.S. Investment in Critical Minerals to the Taliban.” The forum is intended to examine the supply and geopolitical implications of Taliban control of critical minerals surveyed at U.S. taxpayer expense.

The forum will be live-streamed on YouTube beginning at 10:00am eastern, tomorrow, October 22, 2021.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 2019 was the year America realized energy independence for the first time in over 60 years, producing more than we consumed. Total U.S. energy production increased by 5.7 percent in 2019 while U.S. energy demand decreased by 0.9 percent. The U.S. produced 101.0 quadrillion British thermal units (quads) of energy and consumed 100.2 quads that year. Fossil fuels accounted for 80 percent of both energy consumption and production in 2019.

The current goals of the Biden Administration include a major transition away from this newfound energy independence and will instead put an enormous demand on the manufacturing of rare earth and other minerals and their resulting products. The U.S. currently has little extraction and processing capability here or abroad to meet these future demands. And, now, the U.S. has lost a major opportunity to invest in Afghanistan’s mineral wealth as that wealth is under Taliban control. That allows China, which already dominates the global mineral supply chain, to invest in and reap benefits from a neighboring country’s mineral resources.

In Hutzler’s testimony, she underscores that that an energy system powered by “clean energy technologies” differs profoundly from one fueled by traditional hydrocarbon resources. For example, building solar photovoltaic plants, wind farms and electric vehicles generally requires more minerals than their fossil fuel-based counterparts. A typical electric car requires six times the mineral inputs of a conventional car, and an onshore wind plant requires nine times more mineral resources than a gas-fired power plant to produce the same energy capacity. How and where America sources these minerals will not only impact domestic energy policy but our foreign policy as well.

Forum Details:

View Mary Hutzler’s prepared testimony.

Members of the media should email [email protected] to schedule an interview with Mary Hutzler or one of IER’s expert analysts.

About Mary J. Hutzler

Mary J. Hutzler is a Senior Fellow at IER. Until she left Government in 2006, she was a top energy analyst for the U.S. Government, having spent more than 25 years at the Energy Information Administration (EIA), where she specialized in data collection, analysis, and forecasting.

Beginning in 2004, Hutzler worked as the Associate Director of Statistical Programs at the Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS), serving 14 months as the Associate Director and 6 months as the Acting Director of BTS. In the latter job, Hutzler ran the bureau’s daily operations, briefed Administration officials and Congressional staff, and managed BTS’s data and analysis programs. As Associate Director, Hutzler managed large-scale freight and travel surveys and all analytical research, including new statistical methods and estimation of transportation data.

In 2001, Hutzler was named by President Bush to lead the EIA as Acting Administrator. In this role, she testified before Congressional committees, briefed policymakers on energy issues, held press conferences on EIA products, and interacted with energy organizations on controversial issues dealing with EIA data collections. In recognition of her achievements, Hutzler received a 2004 Presidential Rank Award, an honor by which the president “recognizes and celebrates a small group of career senior executives.”

Before and after her stint as the acting administrator and deputy administrator of EIA, which lasted from June 2001 to March 2003, Hutzler was director of the EIA’s Office of Integrated Analysis and Forecasting. As such, she planned, directed, and managed all mid- and long-term analysis and forecasting at EIA, as well as the production of EIA’s annual forecasting publications. Hutzler oversaw the development of the National Energy Modeling System, for which she received a Presidential Rank Award in 1999. She also produced numerous studies for both Congress and the Administration on various key topics, such as the Kyoto Protocol, low-sulfur diesel rules, the depletion of oil and gas reserves, and Renewable Portfolio Standards.

Hutzler received her B.A. in mathematics from Adelphi University, her M.A. in applied mathematics from the University of Maryland, and completed her course work and exams for a D.Sc. in operations research at George Washington University.

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