The US depends on mineral supplies for electric vehicle production, wind energy exploration, and defense system development
The United States utilities that manufacture satellites, wind turbines, military weapons, and electric vehicles depend on minerals that are refined by other nations. For instance, manufacturing a satellite would require about 900 pounds of rare earth elements, which are shipped in from China. This dependence on China has made the country to be submissive to some actions from China that they could have retaliated.
However, the country has to adjust to this situation because these minerals are vital for national security since they help avert trade disputes, company failures, and natural disasters. These events and phenomena depend on the minerals, and that’s why the US think tank is trying to find a lasting solution for the country.
China’s plan to increase its dominance over the market for critical minerals has made the US increase its strategic planning and investment in supply chains to access these minerals. The US has small mining and recycling utilities, making it incessantly tough for the country to compete against China. Moreover, the country’s environmental associations cannot allow mining operations to spur all over the country because they are destructive.
These associations sequester such operations through the policies that they implement. Luckily, the Department of Energy has processed $30 million, which will help in mining these minerals to sustain some of the US’s manufacturing operations. Experts are trying to identify the plausible mechanisms they can employ to sustain the critical mineral supply chains and at the same time minimize the damage to the environment.
The minerals are critical because they meet the needs of Americans in various ways. The previous six decades witnessed the country depend on other countries for these minerals preserving the country’s mineral reserves. Previously, the minerals helped in refining petroleum, chemical operations, and manufacturing activities. Currently, the minerals have advantageous applications in the renewable energy sector, defense technologies, and electric vehicle production. The minerals help produce items like electric motors, batteries, satellites, and missile guidance systems. These activities have kept the US Defense Department ahead of other countries because they developed complex systems that have assured their survival in military and defense operations.
Moreover, President Joe Biden has promised to improve this situation through the allocation of funds dedicated to improving the infrastructure of the country. The appropriation will help the manufacturers develop and explore electric vehicles and renewable energy. Additionally, the government has passed policies supporting the transition to the green economy with more supply chains for the critical minerals while advocating for the minimization of emissions that lead to climate change.