Lithium batteries are now used in practically every modern device, from cell phones to electric automobiles and trucks. But, according to the Biden administration, one major hurdle remains. China supplies around 90% of the world’s lithium imports.
President Biden announced for the first time that millions of dollars will be invested in California lithium mining.
“We cannot build an American future if we are dependent on China for the ingredients that drive our goods now and tomorrow,” Vice President Biden warned on Tuesday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom told President Trump via video chat on Thursday that the state had white gold.
Newsom called the Imperial Valley “the lithium Saudi Arabia.” This is unprecedented in terms of economic potential.
They have found other possible lithium mining regions outside the Salton Sea and Imperial Valley.
35 million dollars will go to MP Materials, a mining company in Mountain Pass, San Bernardino County. With this investment, the company plans to supply material for 500,000 electric vehicles annually by 2025.
Earlier this year, Governor Newsom signed an executive order mandating all new automobiles and trucks sold in California to be zero-emission by 2035.
According to domestic climate specialist Gina McCarthy in addition to phones and other gadgets, lithium is essential for the sustainable energy revolution. Her fear is that reliance on China for these minerals threatens national security and impedes the development of alternative energy sources in the US.
“If we don’t create them in the United States, if we don’t process and mine them and transform them into goods we can use right here,” McCarthy told ABC7’s sister station KGO. In order to keep up with the escalating costs of key commodities, we’ll have to buy them from countries that aren’t our allies.
Prez. Biden and Gov. Newsom believe that investing in lithium mining would increase America’s energy independence while boosting job creation and helping the country transition to a more sustainable energy future.
For Newsom, “this is a game changer in terms of moving toward low-carbon, green growth and substantially shifting our energy use.”