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Hickenlooper, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Evaluate Global Critical Mineral Supply, Further U.S. Energy Independence

Jan 22, 2024

China controls over 80% of world’s critical mineral supply

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper recently joined a bipartisan group of his Senate colleagues to introduce the Critical Minerals Security Act, a bill to help secure U.S. access to critical minerals and counter Chinese industry dominance. The bill directs the Department of the Interior to evaluate the global supply and ownership of critical minerals, and make it easier for the U.S. to establish stable supply chains with international allies. 

“Access to critical minerals will decide the winners and losers of our energy future,” said Hickenlooper. “This bill is a step toward a more resilient American supply chain.”

The U.S. critical minerals list includes 50 minerals – including materials like lithium, titanium, and cobalt – which are essential to our economy, infrastructure, and military capability. Critical minerals are used in smartphones, electric vehicle batteries, solar panels, and wind turbines. Global demand for critical minerals is on the rise as industrialized economies transition to clean energy.  

China is currently the largest source of U.S. imports for 26 of the 50 critical minerals. Experts have become increasingly concerned with U.S. dependence on China for critical minerals, arguing it poses a significant risk to national security. 

The Critical Minerals Security Act seeks to address this information gap by requiring the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to submit a report to Congress on the status of all critical mineral and rare earth element resources around the world. Specifically, the report would detail which resources are controlled by the U.S., an ally or partner, or a foreign entity of concern. 

The legislation would also require the Secretary of the Interior, in coordination with the Departments of State and Commerce, to develop and submit a progress report to Congress on:

  • A strategy to collaborate with U.S. allies and partners to advance clean mining, refining, separation, and processing technologies; and,
  • A method for sharing intellectual property resulting from the development of these technologies to share with allies and partners.

Full text of the bill is available HERE.


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