The legislation also included investments of $7.5 billion in electric vehicle charging, $10 billion in clean transportation, and more than $7 billion in EV battery components. Additionally, it has been stipulated that all EV chargers funded through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act must be built domestically.
However, building all these things, from infrastructure to electric vehicles, requires resources which the United States cannot currently obtain without going through foreign adversaries, like Russia or China.
“The United States will continue to rely on China, Russia and other foreign nations for our supply of raw materials and rare-earth minerals, and this is unacceptable,” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, said.
“America’s defense in the modern era increasingly demands the use of critical minerals, making it more essential by the day for our nation to have a sufficient stockpile of and reliable access to these materials,” Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, said. “At this very moment, our enemies like China dominate the supply chain of these increasingly vital materials, and are even expanding into regions such as Africa and Afghanistan, threatening our readiness in an emergency situation and jeopardizing our national security.”
Three crucial elements needed for projects like these are known as niobium, scandium and titanium. They are used in cars, bridges, military vehicles, buildings, aircraft and wind turbines, among other things. Because of their properties that make metals both lighter and stronger, these elements have the ability to improve the fuel efficiency of automobiles and help infrastructure last longer.
There’s the one mine that wants to produce Nb, Ti and Sc. A mine that is hopelessly uneconomic, even by its own records and proposals, without subsidy.
Only the one mine mind you.