United States Congress is yet to pass legislation regarding the steadily-growing electric vehicle industry and its supply chain activities. Miners and mining executives are keen on the idea of legislation streamlining the permitting of mines and funding of geological studies, among others, but the lawmakers haven’t passed any regulation.
The bills, as expected, would greatly help both the mining and electric vehicle industries. If signed into law, it would speed up the approval of mine permits, allows the creation of a rare earth authority, circumvent anti-trust laws, fund research for coal and rare earth extraction, and directs the Pentagon to search for more sources of minerals.
The US-Sino trade wars currently threaten the supply of rare earth mineral shipments. China is also the world’s biggest processor of lithium and an electric vehicle battery maker. The laws will serve as a temporary stopgap since the US is also abundant in mineral resources.
The delay makes the US dependent on other countries for their share of specialized minerals. The global economy of rare earth become more energized, especially as millions of climate activists and environmentalists gathered at the United Nations to protest the use of fossil fuels and curbing carbon emissions.
US Senate Energy and Natural Resources chairperson Senator Lisa Murkowski are optimistic that her legislation will eventually pass the readings. Several senators and representatives have also passed their bill.
The snail’s pace passage of laws could not be farther from the dizzyingly fast pace of corporate America, so businesspeople are irked about the slow turnaround of laws, especially the mining industry which needs its rare earth regulations.
Murkowski commented that the unmoving legislation is not indicative that the congress has not been doing and working to push them. She also warned that the country is falling behind the race of mineral extraction for electric cars.
In July though, Trump has signed an order for the Pentagon to locate sources of minerals aside from China. That is a small step, but a step forward nonetheless.
Electric Vehicles Continue to Grow
In spite of these setbacks, the electric car industry steadily grows. Amazon.com Inc. recently said that they would purchase more or less 100,000 delivery vans powered by electricity. This is the most significant bulk electric car order to date.
Amazon contracted Rivian Automotive LLC to build the vans, and the company will make them at their Illinois factory. However, they will be importing the critical minerals for the battery, such as lithium, from sources outside the US. Miners outlined this fact as another wake-up call to pass these laws.
James Calaway, chairman of ioneer Ltd, a Nevada-based boron and lithium project, said that they appreciate the legislations, but they will not be enough. The needs of the electric car industry are substantially more extensive than what is on hand right now.
Senator Joe Manchin outlined that legislation is inevitable if domestic production is to be bolstered. He said that the supplies of rare earth of the country could not be left to the whims of China or any other country for that matter; the United States must be self-sufficient.