US Facing Growing Need for Minerals Found Exclusively in China
(RightWing.org) – The rise of global economies presents numerous looming disasters Americans need to know about, particularly regarding the worldwide balance of power. China presents several challenges to American economic stability at home and abroad. Several areas of potential concern have arisen in recent years, and the International Energy Agency’s latest installation of its World Energy Outlook details many of them. But, there’s one particular challenge that might stand above the rest.
The International Energy Agency
The International Energy Agency is a Paris-based organization established in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. It initially focused on disruptions in the global supply of oil, but expanded operations to cover the totality of global energy systems, including coal, gas, oil, and emerging technologies like wind and solar energy and biofuels.
It publishes a World Energy Outlook annually that provides data, analysis, and policy recommendations and solutions to help its 30 member countries and 8 association countries produce and maintain affordable and sustainable energy.
The full report is scheduled for release on May 18, but the section covering the role of critical minerals was released earlier in May.
China and the Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions
Much of America’s economy depends on minerals to produce cars, planes, trains, and other vital products. As the nation starts turning increasingly towards the use of more green energy, the demand for those minerals will soar even higher. For example, it takes roughly six times the amount of minerals to produce a lithium battery for use in an electric car than for a gasoline-powered one.
The International Energy Agency’s report on critical minerals pointed out several vulnerabilities in the world’s supply chain for them.
China accounts for roughly 90% of the world’s capacity to refine rare earth elements. Similarly, it provides from 50% to 70% of the refining capacity for cobalt and lithium.
America’s current and growing dependency on China for minerals and rare earth elements is not something the country can avoid. Former President Donald Trump understood those emerging problems and took appropriate measures to keep China in check. Let’s hope Joe Biden builds upon Trump’s “America First” approach to foreign policy instead of tearing it down.
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