Eco-Left Plans Rely on Rare Earth Minerals, While Also Making Them More Difficult to Obtain

Eco-Left Plans Rely on Rare Earth Minerals, While Also Making Them More Difficult to Obtain

April 27, 2021

Far-left environmental groups championing the Green New Deal will soon have to ask themselves some important questions. These groups champion renewable energy sources like wind and solar, but are quick to overlook what it takes to get these technologies produced.

As David Blackmon wrote at Forbes, technologies such as solar panels, wind and hydro turbines, semiconductors and batteries depend on rare earth minerals such as antimony, cobalt and lithium. These minerals have to be mined. Antimony, for example, is extracted from stibnite, an alloy consisting of antimony and sulphur. And as Blackmon writes:

The most common method of mining for stibnite is via open pit mining, a process that U.S. green groups have traditionally opposed when use for mining of coal, copper and other important minerals. Whether these groups would remain intellectually consistent when it comes to mining for rare earth minerals needed to facilitate the “Green New Deal” remains to be seen.

Even worse, the United States is not producing enough of these essential minerals and is reliant on overseas sources, particularly China.

Last year, Power the Future released a study, “The Fight for Rare Earths,” which outlined China’s dominance in rare earth minerals. The study found:

In the latter half of the twentieth century, the U.S. was “self-sufficient” in [rare earth minerals], producing “well over half of the world’s supply” until the 1980s. But over time, due to several factors, China eclipsed the U.S., and indeed the rest of the world. “Since the late 1990s, China has provided 85-95 percent of the world’s [rare earth minerals],” while, between 2014 and 2017, the U.S. imported 80 percent of its supply from China.

If the United States wants to become more reliant on renewable energy, it will have to develop its own sources for essential minerals. But already, we are seeing the Biden Administration oppose mining efforts. In Arizona, for example, the Administration has put a hold on a needed copper mine in Arizona.

The circular logic of the eco-left is alarming. Their plan is to make the United States reliant on renewable technologies, while opposing efforts that would help the United States produce these technologies. It is clear that the Green New Deal is a raw deal for anyone who cares about affordable, reliable sources of energy.