Unleash American Resource Independence
A new industrial revolution is going to require an enormous amount of resources like lithium, copper, cobalt, graphite, and nickel. Currently, we are too dependent on countries like China to supply our needs.
This dependence increases emissions and handicaps American businesses. We have to make it easier to safely supply manufacturers with American-made materials and employ American workers.
A bucket wheel excavator used in mining operations
Why unleash American resource independence?
Critical minerals are…critical. In the global race to a new energy economy, we shouldn’t depend on other countries for critical materials when we have abundant resources here at home. Lithium demand, for example, is expected to grow by 42 times today’s consumption.
In addition to the critical minerals needed for clean energy technologies, cheap, abundant American natural gas is one of the best tools to lower emissions. Today, it can be exported as liquified natural gas (LNG) as a cleaner fuel for the world. Tomorrow, natural gas will be converted to clean hydrogen and exported globally. However, permitting and financing issues stand in the way of more gas exports.
We have neglected some of our most clean and abundant resources – hydropower and geothermal energy. For example, dams around the U.S. currently used for flood control could be retrofitted this decade – producing the electricity equivalent to that of a dozen nuclear reactors. In addition, the geothermal resources under our feet could literally power 10% of the entire country, if properly tapped.
Solution: Provide critical minerals projects in America faster permitting timelines to reduce our reliance on imports from China and other countries with atrocious human rights records.
Challenge: The U.S. gets most of its uranium from Russia for our own nuclear power production and Russia is the only country currently producing advanced nuclear fuel.
Solution: We should incentivize American nuclear fuel production and expedite more domestic supply of uranium.
Challenge: Global allies are currently getting energy from hostile nations like Russia.
Solution: Fast track decisions on American natural gas and hydrogen export facility permits to get our clean, and cleaner, fuels to global markets faster.
Challenge: The federal government currently makes baseload renewables like hydropower and geothermal energy harder to produce in American because of permitting.
Solution: Increase baseload renewable power by providing developers incentives to electrify existing dams for more hydropower, and fix the permitting processes on public lands that hold back geothermal developers.