In a move liberals should support, President Joe Biden is using a Cold War-era statute to increase production of lithium and other minerals for electric vehicles. These minerals are increasingly scarce and prohibitively expensive, which in turn raises the prices of EVs and stymies the goal of having clean energy vehicles crisscrossing the country.
Good move, right?
First, the action fails to address the years-long process of obtaining a federal permit necessary for a new mine. On top of that, environmentalists and Native American groups are lined up in opposition to what they charge is the risk of permanent damage to “public health, wilderness and sacred sites.”
As for getting a new mine up and running? Seven to 20 years down the road.
If not for the damage being done to the country, it would be easy to feel slight sympathy for the 79-year-old president. Even when he does something to prop up one of his own party’s initiatives, the perpetually angry Democrats are upset.
Biden’s announcement of invoking the Defense Production Act is intended to result in higher domestic production of “strategic and critical minerals” to power clean technologies. However, the U.S. right now has exactly one operational lithium mine, a Nevada site run by a North Carolina company.
The Sierra Club acknowledges that Biden’s program is a step towards clean energy but insists that labor and environmental standards are met along with consultations with Tribal nations.
Seven to 20 years.
Environmental advocacy group Earthworks declares that transitioning to clean energy cannot be based on “dirty mining.” The group says it “strongly opposes” using the Defense Production Act for mining because it “adds to generational trauma,” especially among Indigenous communities.
Even the Center for Biological Diversity says that without streamlining of environmental hurdles faced by mining companies, the results of Biden’s action “are going to be modest.”
Until electric vehicles are powered by windmills, batteries are a necessity. But leftists cannot get out of their own way in their much-ballyhooed “transition” to clean energy. Even when something is done to benefit their cause, they find “crises” and “victims” to stall the progress.