President Biden aims to electrify the U.S. economy — cars, heating systems, factories, and everything else — and produce the electricity to power our nation from wind, solar, or existing nuclear power. At the same time, his administration is unwilling or unable to secure domestic mining necessary for his forced energy transition.
Our newest research paper, The Economic and Strategic Importance of Domestic Mineral Production, provides a sober analysis of the challenge of retooling our energy system from hydrocarbons to minerals and critical materials, which would be required under such net zero policies. Specifically, the report shows:
- A “net zero” carbon emissions policy requires significantly more critical minerals than we are using now.
- Critical mineral processing and production are currently concentrated in China, meaning that pursuing a “net zero” strategy will have serious implications for both national and energy security.
- The increase in demand for these minerals and materials is already putting upward pressure on prices. If we don’t take steps to simplify the process of permitting and opening mines in the U.S., these problems will only get worse over time.