U.S. Called Vulnerable To Rare Earth Shortages

Photo: Peter Morgan

Via The New York Times:

The United States is too reliant on China for minerals crucial to new clean energy technologies, making the American economy vulnerable to shortages of materials needed for a range of green products — from compact fluorescent light bulbs to electric cars to giant wind turbines.

So warns a detailed report to be released on Wednesday morning by the United States Energy Department. The report, which predicts that it could take 15 years to break American dependence on Chinese supplies, calls for the nation to increase research and expand diplomatic contacts to find alternative sources, and to develop ways to recycle the minerals or replace them with other materials.

At least 96 percent of the most crucial types of the so-called rare earth minerals are now produced in China, and Beijing has wielded various export controls to limit the minerals’ supply to other countries while favoring its own manufacturers that use them.

[Continues at The New York Times]

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  • Ironaddict06

    America has plenty of rare earth metals. The problem is getting approval of mining the metals.

  • Ironaddict06

    America has plenty of rare earth metals. The problem is getting approval of mining the metals.

  • marc

    We actually had considerable rare earth mining operations in this country until about 2003 when they all went to China because of cheap labor. Of course Bush and congress did nothing to stop this even though they were in their “national security” mode

  • marc

    We actually had considerable rare earth mining operations in this country until about 2003 when they all went to China because of cheap labor. Of course Bush and congress did nothing to stop this even though they were in their “national security” mode