Rare earths first? Or last?

Biden’s Green New Deal won’t work without mining, especially for rare earth elements
Duggan Flanakin

As Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take the reins of government and launch their program to “transition” America away from fossil fuels, they need to consider some hard realities. Chief among them is that no Green New Deal can succeed without major increases in US mining and processing – unless they want to make America even more dependent on China and Russia.

Rare-earth metals are essential to 21st Century technologies, including smartphones, lasers, night vision systems, weapons guidance systems – and GND technologies like wind turbines, solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles. As British hedge fund veteran James Horrocks noted in a recent article, “It is easy to see why rare earths have become a pawn in the US-China trade war.”

China, Horrocks noted, has only a third of global reserves of rare earths, but in 2017 produced over 80% of the global supply of rare-earth metals and compounds, and its exports that year to the US accounted for 78% of the 17,000 tons of US rare-earth imports. Even rare-earth metals mined in the USA are processed in the People’s Republic – because China now owns the US deposit and we’d prefer to pay the cheaper prices associated with processing under China’s abominable pollution, wage and workplace safety rules.

Christopher Barnard, national policy director at the American Conservation Coalition, is but one of many who agree that a reliable, affordable domestic supply of rare-earth metals is critical to building a “green” economy. Last month Barnard warned that “the geopolitical, economic and environmental risks” inherent in near-total reliance on a potentially hostile power “can no longer be ignored.”

The Chinese near-monopoly (it was worse before Japan built a new supply chain after China blocked all rare-earth exports in 2010) is largely a creation of activist-driven US anti-mining policy. There are plenty of rare-earth deposits in the USA, but extracting them is not photogenic. Barnard laments the “regulatory minefield of labyrinthine local, state and federal rules” that has turned permitting into a two- to three-decades adventure in frustration.

Over the past decades, lawmakers have all but banned mineral exploration and development on minerals-rich federal lands. The few once-active rare earth mines are now long shuttered, largely due to high compliance costs. Mountain Pass, the sole US operating rare-earth mine, lost two years of production due to a 2016 bankruptcy and still sends its mined ore to China for processing.

To counter US dependence on Chinese imports, in September 2020, President Trump signed Executive Order (EO) 13953 declaring a national emergency in the mining industry. The order charged the Interior Department with increasing domestic production of rare-earth materials, to reduce America’s dependence on China for these building blocks for 21st Century technologies. EO 13953 built on his December 2017 EO 13817 that required the Interior Secretary to identify critical materials and reduce “the Nation’s vulnerability to disruptions in the supply of critical minerals,” especially those from China and Russia.

Many of the recommendations in EO 13953 were incorporated into the Energy Act of 2021, part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act that also funded pandemic relief. The new law requires the Energy Department to conduct a research and development program for advanced separation technologies for extraction and recovery of rare-earth elements and other critical materials from coal and coal byproducts. A coequal goal is to ensure mitigation of any potential environmental and public health impacts from these activities – which is always required for US operations, though not for those in or by China.

The new law further requires triennially updated lists of critical minerals, plus new curricula for colleges and universities to build a strong critical minerals workforce; domestic, publicly available resource assessments of critical minerals; analytical and forecasting tools to evaluate critical minerals markets; new alternatives to, recycling of, and efficient production and use of critical materials; and more. Finally, the law requires that the Director of National Intelligence submit to Congress a regular report of Chinese investments in minerals.  

In addition, during Trump’s final days, the Bureau of Land Management (the other BLM) announced new decisions that took effect January 15 expanding potential mining operations on federal lands, adding mining to the list of industries that can receive fast-tracked permitting (critical to getting any new rare-earth mines operational), approving a new mine in Nevada for lithium (a critical element in electric vehicle batteries), and approving a land swap to ease final approval of an Arizona copper mine.

With these final acts, the Trump Administration will have laid the groundwork to let the “clean-energy-focused” new government have a shot at meeting the raw materials needs for the 21st Century technologies that President Biden has promised will drive tomorrow’s US economy. Of course, China may use its leverage to try to undercut any US producers, especially if President Biden lifts (or fails to impose) tariffs aimed at offsetting China’s unfair advantages from its unethical and dirty mining and forced labor practices. 

Will Biden and Congress undermine all this? Anti-mining Democrats were quick to object to the last-minute BLM actions. Rep. Paul Grijalva (D, AZ), whose own approach to U.S. mining has been called “good for China, bad for America,” has said President Obama’s 2015 FAST-41 law, which greased permitting for utility projects, was “never intended … to cover the mining sector.”

But Rich Nolan, president of the National Mining Association, lauded the BLM move, stating that, “American mining is key to successfully repairing our nation’s infrastructure.”  Previously, Nolan had reiterated his organization’s stance that “the very technologies essential to our recovering economy will be built on a foundation provided by mining. It’s now absolutely essential that smart policy recognizes this need and opportunity.”

The Biden campaign privately told US miners it would support boosting domestic production of metals required to make electric vehicles, solar panels and other products critical to his climate plans. But this would represent a shift from Obama policies that included “rigorous environmental regulations that slowed US mining sector growth.” It’s also total anathema to environmental pressure groups that support and advise Biden.

Green groups in Minnesota, Nevada and Arizona – along with some Native American tribes – have begun pounding the drums of dissent. For example, Save the Boundary Waters opposes a Twin Metals copper mine in Minnesota; the project already has federal permits but is facing court challenges. Spokesperson Jeremy Drucker complained, “Mining companies have been using EVs and climate change as a cover to push their own agenda: profit.”

Then there is Biden’s nomination of New Mexico Native American Deb Haaland to head up his Interior Department. Native American groups have opposed the fast tracking of approval of the Resolution Copper Mine, which could supply up to a quarter of growing US copper demand for 40 years. Native Americans say the mine would desecrate sacred lands. How will Haaland, and her boss, handle this touchy issue, given her ties to tribes opposing the mine and the vital role of copper to the GND?

Meanwhile, President Biden continues to refer to Kamala Harris as “President-Elect” and speaks of a “Harris-Biden Administration.” One wonders how much influence VP Harris will have on Biden Administration planning and policy, since she is on record as opposing almost any new domestic mining operations. Put another way, who will really be in charge of our energy and economy?

The ultimate question is, Should America be dependent on China (and Russia) to supply the tools for the new economy? Or will the Biden-Harris Administration follow up on the Trump approach to rebuilding the US rare-earths mining and processing industry, to avoid near-total dependence on major human rights violators? In other words, will Biden-Harris put America’s clean energy future in Chinese hands?

Duggan Flanakin is Director of Policy Research at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org

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Vuk
January 22, 2021 10:18 am

No problem. Let’s those starving kids on African continent who have not much choice, starve or dig, dig out the rare metals, so we can build more car batteries that will eventually have to be thrown away. Oil is pumped out by reasonably well paid grown-ups who have a choice if they do not wish to do it.

Alan
Reply to  Vuk
January 22, 2021 12:39 pm

Yeah, but ya see, those well paid grown ups damage the environment in the US and buy SUV’s that causes climate change. Those kids in Africa are damaging their own environment. And at .25 cents a day, they can’t afford a smokin, chokin automobile. That’s good for the climate and makes liberals feel good.

griff
Reply to  Vuk
January 23, 2021 12:43 am

Well Cobalt might not be a component in future /EV batteries:

Cobalt Banished From New Electric Vehicle Batteries (cleantechnica.com)

And I find it odd here that Watts readers don’t complain and campaign about all the other modern devices using cobalt…

Monna Manhas
Reply to  griff
January 24, 2021 1:55 am

“And I find it odd here that Watts readers don’t complain and campaign about all the other modern devices using cobalt…”

It might have something to do with the fact that a car battery uses between 6 and 12 kg of cobalt while a cell phone battery uses 5 to 10 grams.

I know – there are millions, possibly billions, of cell phones out there. But it’s a matter of scale. A cell phone is small, and most people don’t think that a tenth of a teaspoon of cobalt in a handheld device is anywhere near the same problem as 15 to 25 pounds of the stuff in a car driving down the road.

Last edited 8 months ago by Monna Manhas
MAL
Reply to  griff
January 24, 2021 2:44 pm

Explain to me how you get a high density magnet without Cobalt?

Last edited 8 months ago by MAL
Larry in Texas
January 22, 2021 10:22 am

Sheer madness, this Biden mining policy. All in fulfillment of an even greater piece of madness, the Green New Deal.

As I told my son, those who voted for Biden are going to have to learn the hard way. Oh, I cannot wait until 2022 midterm elections.

Joe Wagner
Reply to  Larry in Texas
January 22, 2021 10:28 am

You are assuming some level of introspection and open-mindedness in his supporter base…

Steve Case
Reply to  Larry in Texas
January 22, 2021 11:01 am

“Oh, I cannot wait until 2022 midterm elections.”

The mid term elections are likely already in the bag for the Democrats. After the November 3rd national election and the January 5th runoff in Georgia, they know they will easily get away with it again. And you can be sure they are working on that to improve on what worked then.

gringojay
Reply to  Larry in Texas
January 22, 2021 12:17 pm

Larry’s son is not alone in facing consequences. The welders union endorsed president Biden* & 2 days ago those skilled good paying jobs evaporated as administrative order revoked KeystoneXL pipeline permits.

Lrp
Reply to  gringojay
January 22, 2021 6:47 pm

It probably was the welders union reps

Tekov Yahoser
Reply to  gringojay
January 24, 2021 8:33 am

Yeah well, construction jobs are temporary and we won’t count the jobs at an American refinery that gets the oil. And benefiting the CCP while they process REM’s with little or no regard for the environmental cost is fine because we’ve shown our Green Virtue™ to our friends and professors here in the US.

Waza
Reply to  Larry in Texas
January 22, 2021 12:21 pm

Larry
If you attend an “average” American workplace/party/bbq with twenty people, 6 voted Trump and 7 voted Biden and 7 didn’t vote, you really only need to convince 1 person to change.

I really don’t think complaining about mining permits will do it.
Sadly, something bad has to happen the convince that one person to change their vote.

When that event arrives, be ready to convince all your peers that it’s Biden’s fault.

KevinM
Reply to  Waza
January 22, 2021 1:09 pm

Though the electorate might be near 50-50, parties, bbqs and even workplaces rarely socialize that way.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Waza
January 22, 2021 3:39 pm

And, with a crisis in confidence in the sanctity of voting, I wouldn’t be surprised if the non-voters rose to at least 8 or 9 with the rationalization that if the system is corrupt, “What’s the point?” There is a cloud over the legitimacy of Biden’s election, and neither Biden or the Democrats have made any positive effort to dispel that cloud! In one ‘swell foop,’ the democrats have destroyed the foundation of democracy, the belief that everyone’s vote counts.

Of course, that road to destruction started with Pelosi saying, “He isn’t MY president!” The other leg of democracy is the realization that there always has to be a loser in a vote. In the past, people grumbled, but accepted that as a necessity and put their ‘shoulder to the wheel’ and tried to make it work for four years.

The Democrats adopted the view of “Our way or no way!” They made a concerted effort to drive Trump out by unrelentingly sniping at him for even trivial things that had nothing to do with running the country. He was continually called a racist, even when he tried to protect the country by increasing the level of scrutiny of travelers from certain Muslim countries, the same countries that Obama had previously tightened visa restrictions on! Trump was called a “racist” for tightening travel restrictions on the Chinese, the day after the WHO declared the Wuhan Flu a pandemic; the MSM later criticized him for not acting soon enough and not doing enough, despite following Fauci’s advice.

The MSM suppressed the news about Hunter Biden. The House of Representatives impeached him, based on flimsy evidence. The ‘Swamp’ got its revenge! However, in doing so, it has possibly destroyed our democracy. The smear campaign, and Yahoo’s censorship, continues because liberals hope to prevent Trump from ever running again because they are afraid of his popularity and his enthusiastic support.

These are dark days, and I doubt that the Party of Joiners has enough collective wisdom to understand they are destroying a great country. It is a classic example of winning the battle and losing the war!

Lrp
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 22, 2021 6:52 pm

It was postal voting on a scale never encountered before that did it; it enabled vote harvesting and influencing.

John Tillman
Reply to  Larry in Texas
January 23, 2021 11:58 am

The CCP invested a lot in the Bribem Crime Family, as in so many traitors before, to include the Clintons, Gore, Boxer, Feinstein, et al. lesser running Communist dogs. Now the ChiComs expect to cash in.

A recent instance of Slow Joe’s decline from a not very high level:

https://welovetrump.com/2021/01/22/biden-forgets-to-salute-the-marines-then-says-salute-the-marines-after-receiving-orders-in-his-earpiece/

John Tillman
Reply to  John Tillman
January 23, 2021 12:22 pm

The Bribem-Horris campaign shattered the dark money record. Who knows where those Bribem Bucks came from?, but I can make a not very WAG.

Walter Horsting
January 22, 2021 10:26 am

My Friend Jim Kennedy has a series of YouTubes on this issue and lead much of the efforts in Trump’s White House https://youtu.be/1EkQoOGEGKQ

John Tillman
January 22, 2021 10:28 am

Mexico might welcome a rare earth processing plant.

ResourceGuy
January 22, 2021 10:50 am

The urban elite in America is too busy with social engineering to be bothered by making things, mining things, processing things, transporting things, or paying for things.

Chris Foskett
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 22, 2021 11:20 am

Until they can’t get the must have iPhone 15…….

BobM
Reply to  Chris Foskett
January 22, 2021 4:56 pm

Or the wall outlet stops producing electricity.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  BobM
January 22, 2021 8:51 pm

I usually replace the outlet when that happens.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 22, 2021 3:41 pm

They are fools wearing blinders.

Steve Case
January 22, 2021 10:54 am

“Although neodymium is classed as a rare-earth element, it is fairly common, no rarer than cobalt, nickel, or copper, and is widely distributed in the Earth’s crust.[6] Most of the world’s commercial neodymium is mined in China.” wikipedia

There are most likely deposits in North America but the snowflake generation isn’t likely to allow the recovery.

ResourceGuy
Reply to  Steve Case
January 22, 2021 11:14 am

Run from “crustal abundance” resource ignorance.

Paul of Alexandria
Reply to  Steve Case
January 22, 2021 3:47 pm

Yes. That’s the point.

CD in Wisconsin
January 22, 2021 11:04 am

“…The new law requires the Energy Department to conduct a research and development program for advanced separation technologies for extraction and recovery of rare-earth elements and other critical materials from coal and coal byproducts..”

…..including coal ash from coal-fired power plants. Coal ash (if I recall correctly) is currently buried in landfills. The pressure from enviro-activists to shut down all coal-fired plants and coal mining is going to put them at odds with the effort to produce domestically-sourced REEs.

The Greenie Left is devoid of critical thought and reasoning if they want a solar and wind powered future in this country and yet oppose domestic mining for the raw materials at the same time. As I like to say, it would be easier to reason with a brick wall.

Editor
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
January 22, 2021 11:25 am

 “Even rare-earth metals mined in the USA are processed in the People’s Republic – because China now owns the US deposit and we’d prefer to pay the cheaper prices associated with processing under China’s abominable pollution, wage and workplace safety rules.”

Sorry, are you seriously saying China has bought the land in the US, gets some co to mine it but then ships it out to china for the processing and then the US hopes the stuff will be sold back to them?

Who on earth thought this a good idea?

Presumably the Chinese must be bemused that capitalism is colluding in its own destruction.

tonyb

rocdoctom
Reply to  tonyb
January 22, 2021 12:15 pm

“Sorry, are you seriously…”
That is exactly what did and is happening. Look it up.

Richard Page
Reply to  tonyb
January 23, 2021 12:43 pm

Sort of. A Chinese company owns 10% of the California mine and ships the ore to China to be processed because there hasn’t been a processing plant in the USA. Another mine ships to Malaysia for the same reason. There are plans for a new rare earth processing plant to be built (in Colorado or Nebraska, I think) but nothing yet. The Pentagon seems to be pushing things along as most of its guidance systems need some of these metals so we’ll just have to see.

Editor
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
January 22, 2021 1:19 pm

re “The Greenie Left is devoid of critical thought and reasoning if they want a solar and wind powered future in this country and yet oppose domestic mining for the raw materials at the same time.”: I think you will find that your premise is incorrect “they want a solar and wind powered future”. They SAY they want a solar and wind-powered future, but they don’t actually want one because if it could be achieved then it would keep going the capitalist industrial system that they want to destroy. My reading of the situation is that their thought and reasoning is totally logical given their objectives – they are opposed to anything that can work and support anything that cannot work, hence their support for solar and wind. They are trying to drive everyone away from any energy source that works (coal, oil, gas, nuclear, even hydro!) into energy sources that cannot work (solar, wind).

Human ingenuity knows no bounds, and although they are not as good as what we have now, it is conceivable that industry can get solar to work effectively with a minor amountvif backup – more expensive but effective enough to keep things going. If they achieve that, then expect to see the greenies opposing it!

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  Mike Jonas
January 22, 2021 2:29 pm

Mike:

It is my opinion that societies in the developed world are dependent on a working Capitalist industrial system in order for those societies to continue functioning and surviving in their present state.

If the Greenie Left actually wants to bring down Capitalism, society itself would collapse into chaos and anarchy because of its dependency on a functioning capitalist system. Is that what they want? Opposing anything that works is to be opposed to a civilized, functioning society itself.

If we are talking about the Greenie Left replacing Capitalism with Marxism, the latter still requires a functioning economy with systems and infrastructure that work (at least somewhat). Otherwise, do I understand you correctly to say that the Greenie Left wants to bring human civilization itself to an end? Sorry Mike, but I see no rationality or logic in that at all.

markl
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
January 22, 2021 3:54 pm

“If the Greenie Left actually wants to bring down Capitalism, society itself would collapse into chaos and anarchy because of its dependency on a functioning capitalist system. Is that what they want?” Yes, that is the plan as outlined in Agenda 21. It not only isn’t going away it’s being implemented. The goal is to “rescue” the collapsed societies that don’t adhere to the plan with a “One World Government” led by the UN. People keep calling this a conspiracy theory when it’s written down in black and white.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  markl
January 22, 2021 8:53 pm

Build Back Better.

YallaYPoora Kid
Reply to  CD in Wisconsin
January 22, 2021 1:56 pm

Uses of coal ash from https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjOiLCJw7DuAhXFyzgGHUaqCQkQFjANegQIIxAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fcen.acs.org%2Farticles%2F94%2Fi7%2FNew-Life-Coal-Ash.html&usg=AOvVaw2dw-E4qInqRaoYS-zDuV0f

Today, about half the concrete produced in the U.S. contains some fly ash—up to 40%—as a substitute for limestone-based portland cement. Among other applications, fly ash is used as material to make bricks, ceramic tiles, and plaster; as filler in metal and plastic composites and in paints and adhesives; and as structural fill for road construction.

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  YallaYPoora Kid
January 22, 2021 3:15 pm

Thanks for the article Yalla. Interesting to see that they are finding at least some useful ways to dispose of coal fly ash.

If they find a commercially viable way to extract REEs from the ash, it leaves me wondering how much of it would be left to dispose of after extraction. Somehow though, I doubt that any of these efforts will be enough to satisfy the Green Left.

Burgher King
January 22, 2021 11:37 am

Here and there, Biden-Harris will throw a few bones to the US mining industry to promote the illusion they aren’t in China’s and Russia’s pockets.

In public, the green political groups will loudly oppose Biden-Harris giving the mining industry these few small bones. But privately behind the scenes, the green groups know that it’s all part of the game in trading money and influence for political and economic power.

The few bones Biden-Harris offer will be just enough to gain the mining industry’s political support, but not nearly enough for that industry to make a real comeback in this country.

What if Biden-Harris are asked an honest question? If the Green New Deal is intended to bring well-paying jobs back to America, why is it they are still sending so much business to China and to Russia for the minerals, the raw materials, and the industrial technologies needed to support their green revolution?

If that question is ever asked, Biden-Harris will simply reply that climate change is such an urgent crisis that it is vitally necessary to obtain the needed materials from those countries where it can be most quickly and cheaply produced.

Richard Page
Reply to  Burgher King
January 23, 2021 12:48 pm

Actually the Pentagon have got involved, citing US national security concerns as their guidance systems use some of these metals. It ought to be quite interesting as to what happens between the various interests.

cirby
January 22, 2021 12:02 pm

Don’t worry about it. If we get into a conflict with China, we can just tear down all of those silly windmills and extract the thousands of tons of rare earths in them.

Reply to  cirby
January 22, 2021 12:16 pm

I’ve got a few of those super-strong refrigerator magnets I can toss in to the recycler.

January 22, 2021 12:19 pm

C’mon Man!! Gimme a break!!

Dementia Joe will discuss it with President Harris after his nap.

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 22, 2021 1:08 pm

Won’t be long now, Politico has dared to broach the taboo subject of Quid Pro Joe’s mental state, just two days after the pomp and circumstance:

https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2021/01/finally-politico-first-fake-news-mainstream-outlet-hint-joe-bidens-obvious-dementia/

“I would never say this,” Biden once snapped at an aide, aghast over the prepared remarks he was reviewing, according to a person in the room during a speech prep session last year. “Where did you get this from?’”

The aide explained that Biden had just said it in a public speech a couple of weeks earlier.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Carlo, Monte
January 22, 2021 3:47 pm

Carlo
Then Biden should fire himself for being disrespectful to the aide and himself!

Carlo, Monte
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 22, 2021 5:58 pm

Indeed.

MarkW
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 22, 2021 2:31 pm

Since the inauguration, I’ve already seen two articles in the mainstream media that call into question Joe’s ability to be president.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  MarkW
January 22, 2021 6:16 pm

My prediction is that he will serve just over two years and then resign due to health. The people in control never wanted him to be president because he isn’t as far left as they are. That’s why they ran Hilary over him last time. The plan this time was to run the “moderate” and then slip VP Harris in when Joe is too obviously not fit for the office.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Loren C. Wilson
January 22, 2021 8:55 pm

I don’t give it that long. Before 2021 is over is my guess.

Richard Page
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 23, 2021 10:13 am

It all depends on how the Democrats view the 2022 midterms – they might want to prop him up in place until then if Harris isn’t going down too well with unaligned voters.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Richard Page
January 23, 2021 11:43 am

If Harris assumes presidency after Jan.20, 2023, she could possibly continue to be president for 10 years. That fact could be behind their plotting.

Richard Page
Reply to  Steve Reddish
January 23, 2021 12:50 pm

That’s a distinctly nasty thought. Hadn’t considered that angle.

John Kelly
January 22, 2021 12:42 pm

The world is going to have to be prepared to pay more for rare earths and other critical metals if it expects to break the shackles of China. Absolutely China undercuts the prices of properly developed mines using western standards of environmental protection and OH&S. There are many other critical metals besides rare earths that are in China’s control. The big metals like copper and zinc can hold their own, but its the minor metals that are just so important. Tin is one I know a lot about. Its the glue that holds everything together in electrics and electronics. There has only been one relatively large, new tin mine come on stream in recent years, the first for decades. The tin price just hasn’t been good enough to develop these things. There are projects in the pipeline but no real progress. So where are we now with tin? At rock bottom levels of stocks and nothing new in sight. Prices have risen nicely in the past few months because of the shortage, but they need to be higher for investors to take the considerable risk of developing a new tin mine. Another 2 metals in the same boat are wolfram and antimony. Both are niche metals with small world-wide production dominated by China. But in an “advanced” economy like the USA regulation kills mining as this author says. Even in a major mining country like Australia regulation strangles projects and it takes years, if not a decade or more, to go through the complicated approvals process. Trump was absolutely on the right track. Its unusual for a national leader to understand the mining industry. Most leaders just take it for granted. Biden won’t care and he’ll be lead by the nose by his greenie/communist mates like Harris and give all the advantage right back to China.

Loren C. Wilson
Reply to  John Kelly
January 22, 2021 6:20 pm

I agree, especially with the last sentence. I was just surprised to hear tungsten called wolfram. Do you call #41 niobium or columbium? In the USA tungsten and niobium are the more common terms.

bethan456@gmail.com
January 22, 2021 1:14 pm

1) Silicon solar panels don’t use rare earths
2) Lithium and cobalt, which make batteries are not rare earths.
3) Wind turbines can use electromagnets instead of rare earth permanent magnets
4) neodymium is used in the motors of electric vehicles.

gringojay
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
January 22, 2021 2:56 pm

Wind turbine oil leaks are never mentioned by proponents.

10BE55C0-9F73-484E-8C63-E7D94459B07D.jpeg
Gunga Din
Reply to  bethan456@gmail.com
January 22, 2021 4:56 pm

3) Wind turbines can use electromagnets instead of rare earth permanent magnets

Uh … what?

How about some numbers regarding just how much of the windmill’s power will get to the grid when it’s being used to by itself to produce said power?

Gunga Din
Reply to  Gunga Din
January 22, 2021 5:09 pm

And what about the added weight?
It takes a lot copper or aluminum to make the electromagnets to replace the rare earth magnets in those things.
All that added weight on top of a pole high in the air.
It would need an even more massive concrete base than the current ones need.

leitmotif
January 22, 2021 1:24 pm

Will Biden and Congress undermine all this?

Who’s Will Biden?

Felix
January 22, 2021 1:56 pm

I never ceases to amaze me, the length statists will go to, to emulate the markets they have crippled. And of course, every fix they mandate creates a dozen more market failures that only they can fix.

Markets thrive on market failures; markets would not exist without market failures; solving market failures is what created markets in the first place, how they arose.

DMacKenzie
January 22, 2021 2:21 pm

Politicians are driven by what gets them votes, not what is realistic. They aren’t actually aware of whether their promises can be accomplished, only care that they can be elected for making those promises.

January 22, 2021 2:30 pm

Sorry for of topic
but the WHO has a “gift” for Biden, as it seems he will continue to funding them:

“WHO guidance Diagnostic testing for SARS-CoV-2 states that careful interpretation of weak positive results is needed (1). The cycle threshold (Ct) needed to detect virus is inversely proportional to the patient’s viral load. Where test results do not correspond with the clinical presentation, a new specimen should be taken and retested using the same or different NAT technology.
WHO reminds IVD users that disease prevalence alters the predictive value of test results; as disease prevalence decreases, the risk of false positive increases (2). This means that the probability that a person who has a positive result (SARS-CoV-2 detected) is truly infected with SARS-CoV-2 decreases as prevalence decreases, irrespective of the claimed specificity.
Most PCR assays are indicated as an aid for diagnosis, therefore, health care providers must consider any result in combination with timing of sampling, specimen type, assay specifics, clinical observations, patient history, confirmed status of any contacts, and epidemiological information.”

Nucleic acid testing (NAT) technologies that use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of SARS-CoV-2

Not that this is new, but finally recognised finally by the WHO and published on inauguration day.
Honi soit qui mal y pense 😀

Last edited 8 months ago by Krishna Gans
leitmotif
Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 22, 2021 3:46 pm

WHO Are You?
I Can’t Explain.
just call me Happy Jack
I’m A Boy btw so no need to Substitute a gender
Now that I’m Free, I Won’t Get Fooled Again
it must be something to do do with My Generation
greta may be on her own Magic Bus but in general The Kids Are Alright
she claims she can see CO2 but I Can See For Miles so cannot agree

oh btw, I’m the Pinball Wizard or just simply China Joe

you can contact me Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere

Reply to  leitmotif
January 22, 2021 3:50 pm

What will you try to tell me ?
I have no clue.

leitmotif
Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 22, 2021 4:18 pm

Pictures Of Lily:-D

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  leitmotif
January 22, 2021 8:58 pm

Don’t forget Boris, the spider…

Mr.
Reply to  leitmotif
January 22, 2021 6:18 pm

People try to put us down.

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
January 23, 2021 1:16 pm

Yup. So that new “cases” will magically fall.

January 22, 2021 2:50 pm

Unless it has changed, China does not export any rare earths….if you want super magnets….buy magnets from China…etc. IT’S ALL ABOUT HOW THE GAME IS PLAYED…I understand that under Eric the Holder….the Great Obomba’s AG, companies could be sued for some kind of discrimination and then fined….but the fines would not go to the government, but rather the offended party…..which then could contribute to the far left wing radical extremist demrat party….see how things work in the real world?

Paul of Alexandria
January 22, 2021 3:45 pm

The case gets better and better for off-planet mining.

LdB
Reply to  Paul of Alexandria
January 23, 2021 6:33 am

You need mining for the raw materials to build the space vehicles … so no that isn’t an option to an econut 🙂

January 22, 2021 3:46 pm

Haven’t they heard of critical metal theory?
Put all the racist white people in concentration camps and all metals needed for endless batteries will rise from the sea and form neat piles on the beach.

LdB
Reply to  Phil Salmon
January 23, 2021 6:35 am

No Greta would come and part the oceans and do the fish and bread trick with materials.

Writing Observer
January 22, 2021 4:09 pm

<blockquote>unless they want to make America even more dependent on China and Russia</blockquote>

Any indication – other than “private assurances” (reported, no doubt, by unnamed “sources”) – that this is NOT what is desired?

griff
January 23, 2021 12:44 am

so if it is OK to dig up the desert to mine, why isn’t it OK to just put solar panels on it? I hear a lot about desert tortoises allegedly damaged by solar, yet the BLM lands opened up by Trump include major habitat for said reptile…

Richard Page
Reply to  griff
January 23, 2021 10:23 am

What desert? I don’t understand the context of your argument. Both rare earth mines in the USA are in mountainous/hilly areas and nowhere near any deserts – they appear to both be located near quite a lot of greenery – admittedly not forests but you can’t have everything.

John Tillman
Reply to  Richard Page
January 23, 2021 1:37 pm

Mountain Pass Mine:
comment image

fred250
Reply to  griff
January 23, 2021 11:23 am

First time EVAH that griff has shown one single care for the environment !!

But only to make a meaningless non-point.

You are a FAKE and FRAUD, griff.

Roland F Hirsch
Reply to  griff
January 23, 2021 2:10 pm

Mining takes up a very small portion of the surface, while solar panels require huge areas to produce any significant value.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  griff
January 23, 2021 4:40 pm

As usual, you just don’t get it Griff
The point of these changes was to force Americans to face the consequences of their choices.
You want green energy, be ethical and crap in your own back yard to get it.

I think it will be instructive to see what Biden does, if he cancels this and goes with Chinese imports that is a tacit admission that American greens cannot face the consequences of their choices.
Brilliant

January 23, 2021 12:57 am

There’s no need to argue against renewable energy technologies. All that’s needed is popcorn on standby, and an enjoyment of black comedy and schadenfreude. There is no way anyone can hide the spectacular failure that they are heading towards like a leaf floating toward a waterfall.

They can fabricate money and they can fabricate votes. They can fabricate climate pseudoscience and falsify climate history. But they can’t fabricate electricity. They need real electrons flowing according to the laws of real physics using technical resources that really exist.

There will be no way to hide the ghastly comedic flop of the entire green enterprise.

LdB
Reply to  Phil Salmon
January 23, 2021 6:37 am

Yes life is a hard taskmaster and teaches lessons the hard way.

Greg
January 23, 2021 11:42 pm

– unless they want to make America even more dependent on China and Russia.

Russia no but China , bingo! Didn’t you get the memo about Biden clans multiple deals with Chinese companies? You know the one’s Uncle Joe had “no idea about” despite being on the plane.

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