On Friday, The Daily Caller reported that Senators Tom Cotton and Mark Kelly have sponsored a bill that aims to end U.S. reliance on rare-earth metals sourced from and produced in China.
The article reports:
The Restoring Essential Energy and Security Holdings Onshore for Rare Earths (REEShore) Act would prevent supply disruptions and bolster domestic production of the minerals, according to Sens. Tom Cotton and Mark Kelly, the bill’s sponsors. They said the legislation is important for American national security and development of advanced technologies.
“The Chinese Communist Party has a chokehold on global rare-earth element supplies, which are used in everything from batteries to fighter jets,” Cotton said in a statement. “Ending America’s dependence on the CCP for extraction and processing of these elements is critical to winning the strategic competition against China and protecting our national security.”
The REEShore Act would order the Department of Defense and Department of the Interior to create a national stockpile of rare-earth metals by 2025, according to the announcement. The Department of Energy controls a strategic reserve of crude oil, which was created in the 1970s.
The article concludes:
On Thursday, the Congressional Western Caucus and House Natural Resources Republicans hosted a roundtable on the implications of U.S. mining policy. Several House Republicans and business leaders explained the importance of bolstering the American mining industry.
“As global demand is growing to meet the needs of technological development, especially with minerals needed for alternative sources of energy, it’s time we start responsibly sourcing them here in the United States instead of relying on foreign, and often hostile, nations for them,” said Republican Minnesota Rep. Pete Stauber, the ranking member of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
In November I reported that Samsung is building a facility in Texas to manufacture computer chips (article here). In order to run that factory, they will need a dependable supply of rare-earth minerals. Securing that supply from political or diplomatic interruptions is a really good idea. Hopefully this is one idea both political parties can agree on.