Since the beginning of the Biden administration, not only has American energy been under attack, but so has domestic critical mineral production. Energy Subcommittee Republican Leader Fred Upton (R-MI) is leading to fix this with H.R. 1599, “Securing America’s Critical Minerals Supply Act.” This bill is a part of Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans’ Securing Cleaner American Energy agenda.
On Wednesday, the Energy Subcommittee held a legislative hearing on solutions to strengthen energy infrastructure, where they discussed H.R. 1599, Securing America’s Critical Supply Act. This bill would focus on creating a strong U.S. critical mineral supply chain and removing our dependence from the Chinese Communist Party.
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REP. UPTON: “Contrary to the rhetoric from the White House and DOE, high gasoline prices will not encourage Americans to buy more expensive electric vehicles.
“Residential electricity prices are also increasing at record pace, and China is consolidating its control over more than 90% of critical minerals used in batteries and solar panels.
“If we do not reinvigorate our domestic mining industry, we are going to see more spikes in raw materials – like lithium – that will drive up costs for consumers.
“I am pleased to see my bill, H.R. 1599, ‘Securing America’s Critical Minerals Supply Act,’ is included in today’s legislative hearing.
“H.R. 1599 will build on DOE’s energy security mission, by providing tools for DOE to secure a reliable domestic supply of critical energy resources, including critical minerals.
“We cannot trade away the energy security America has achieved through the domestic production of coal, oil and natural gas for Chinese batteries and solar panels.
“It is a national security imperative that we produce the energy we need right here at home. It’s that simple.”
ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE REPUBLICAN LEADER CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS (R-WA): “I’m pleased to see included Fred Upton’s H.R. 1599, Securing America’s Critical Minerals Supply Act, which is part of our Securing Cleaner American Energy Agenda.
“This bill establishes a Cabinet-level focus on identifying the critical energy resources necessary to the development and supply of energy in America.
“This includes an assessment of supply chains across all energy systems in the United States — a critical way to identify and reform policies that would otherwise drive dependency on China.
“While much more must be done to strengthen energy security, establishing this function at DOE makes sense.
“It updates the Department’s historic role to assure reliable supplies of energy, to enable energy security.”
“H.R. 1599 provides a new function in the department’s core statute to evaluate energy resource vulnerabilities both for critical materials for renewables and for traditional energy. How do you think that this might be useful in putting energy security back at the center of our debate?”
ENERGY POLICY RESEARCH FOUNDATION PRESIDENT LUCIAN PUGLIARESI: “If we move to a set of systems where we are reliant on these critical materials and minerals, we are particularly reliant on foreign sources that are not necessarily friendly, actually might be quite hostile to the United States. We need a careful assessment of what that means to our energy security and the reliability of our energy complex.”
REP. BOB LATTA (R-OH): “When you’re looking at rare earth minerals, you know when we need these minerals, and when you’re thinking about especially where communist China is in supplying rare earth minerals across the globe today.
“We talk about being able to recycle batteries and things like that, but we’ve got to have these things today.
“We had testimony today, it might take ten years to get a mine open in this country to be able to get these, if we could get the mine open.”
REP. BILL JOHNSON (R-OH): “What does President Biden and his administration have to say? They say just go out and buy an electric car and join us in this ‘incredible transition’ to green energy.
“Our Treasury Secretary actually agrees. She recently said and I quote ‘the critical thing is that we become more dependent on the wind and the sun, that are not subject to geopolitical influences.’ How ridiculous.”
“I can’t believe we need to clarify this, but can you please explain how critical minerals and metals for solar panels and batteries and the rare Earths to make specialized magnets for wind power generation and electric motors are very much subject to geopolitical influences, not to mention subject to the whims of our geopolitical adversaries?”
PUGLIARESI: “Until we develop a domestic or more secure supplies from reliable trading partners, we’re going to find that many of these critical materials and minerals are sourced out of China, the Congo in Africa, and very unreliable sources which would be in a position to not only generate a great deal of revenue from the sale of these products to the United States, but also to withhold them or to extract wealth from us by charging prices well above market levels.”
REP. JOHNSON: “So, basically we’re going to be making ourselves more dependent on some of the worst people in the world?
PUGLIARESI: “I believe without the proper measures, we could end up taking a position of relative energy security to one of energy insecurity.”
REP. DEBBIE LESKO (R-AZ): “In Arizona we have a lot of mining and so we produce about 65% of America’s entire copper production. There is also another mine in Superior, Arizona.”
“Under the Trump administration it was given the green light, but two months into the Biden administration it was pulled the plug and it could produce about 25% of all the copper that is needed or consumed in the United States.”
“We need to promote not only U.S. mining production but U.S. oil and gas production to solve some of our problems and be less reliant on China quite frankly.”