On Critical Minerals, Biden Can’t Have His Cake and Eat it Too

On Critical Minerals, Biden Can’t Have His Cake and Eat it Too

April 4, 2022

Last week, President Biden unveiled a plan to support the domestic production of critical minerals. These minerals are essential in building the renewable technologies and electric vehicles the Biden administration is always pushing. 

The supply chains for these minerals are dominated globally by China and most of the mining for these minerals takes place in nations with almost no environmental standards. The president even invoked the Defense Production Act to help subsidize mining in the United States. But there is one major problem: his own administration’s regulations are blocking these mines.

The Wall Street Journal editorial board points to several examples of critical mineral mines in the U.S. that are stuck in limbo because the Biden administration’s regulators have sided with environmental groups to block their approval. They write, “An inconvenient truth for the left is that mining requires enormous amounts of water and land and generates many toxic byproducts. But the U.S. maintains stringent environmental standards for mining, and minerals that aren’t mined here will be extracted where there are little to no such standards.

“That hasn’t stopped the Biden Administration from blocking a proposed copper mine in Minnesota and taking steps to slow another in Arizona. Regulators in February suspended a right-of-way for a road in Alaska, granted by the Trump Administration, that provided access to one of the world’s largest mineral deposits including zinc and copper.”

The president’s war on American energy has now even stretched to the kinds of energy he claims to support. Instead, his administration should drop the many roadblocks they have built for all types of American energy.

The Journal writes, “So first block private mining projects, then declare a crisis, and then subsidize companies for those and other projects. How about writing an executive order to eliminate his own Administration’s many obstacles to the mining he claims to want?”

The administration is trying to placate two groups from the environmental left at the same time: those who want electric vehicles and those who want to stop all American mining. But when it comes to critical minerals, the president can’t have his cake and eat it too.