A Minnesota state senator says that the Biden administration's restrictive stance towards domestic mining projects is making the US dependent on the Chinese Communist Party.
"We need to change the narrative on mining in this country," said Sen. Tom Bakk in an appearance before the House Ways and Means Committee on July 10. "It’s contrary to their own objectives."
Mr. Bakk testified during a field hearing in Kimball, Minnesota. He said northeast Minnesota has the largest deposits of copper, cobalt, nickel, platinum group metals, and other products the renewable energy industry needs.
Mr. Bakk said the United States could be a net exporter of these items. The CCP’s July 3 announcement of new state controls that restrict exports of germanium and gallium, elements used in producing high-performance computer chips, shows it is willing to disrupt supply chains, he said. -Epoch Times
"It’s bad for Minnesota; it’s bad for the country. Frankly, I think it’s bad for the world," said Bakk, who added that the Biden administration has severely hobbled mining in the United States, leaving China with a monopoly.
"It’s urgent that we stop putting up roadblocks to domestic mineral production because our ability to avoid devastating supply chain disruptions and build a greener future depends on it," he said, referring to the Duluth Complex in the northeast tip of the state near Lake Superior.
Bakk said that mining has been a significant industry in the area for 140 years, and that it could be once again with the growing interest in green technology, as the rich deposits could not only be used for domestic needs, but exported to other countries.
"That deposit would have supported several generations of miners," said Bakk, adding that the US Government seems to be divided on its support for green energy.
On one hand, President Joe Biden told American auto workers last September that they would be building electric cars.
"Companies have announced new investments of more than $36 billion in electric vehicles and $48 billion in batteries manufacturing in the U.S.," said Biden.
But for that to happen, the Biden administration needs to allow domestic mining of raw materials.
"It’s a fact of life; if you don’t get the minerals, you won’t be able to complete them," said Bakk.
More via the Epoch Times;
Mining Leases Canceled on Duluth Complex
Mining had yet to take place on the site to that point.
In 2018, the Trump administration reversed that decision and renewed the leases. In January 2022, the Interior Department determined that the Trump decision violated the law, did not consider the U.S. Forestry Service’s consent authority, and failed to consider all possible environmental impacts.
Not only were the leases canceled, but all mining operations in the forest were prohibited. This includes any studies related to mining.
According to Mr. Bakk, this will cause the kind of environmental damage the lease opponents want to prevent. At the same time, it will make the United States more vulnerable to the CCP. He said importing the products would have an added environmental impact.
“Consider the greenhouse gas emissions associated with [importing the metals],” he said.
China Has Too Much Control
Mr. Bakk said the best way for America to address climate change is with its raw materials.
“The data is clear. We need to mine these materials, and we’re going to successfully combat the negative effects of climate change,” he said.
Committee member Rep. Pete Stauber (R-Minn.) agreed with Mr. Bakk. He expressed concern over China’s willingness to engage in trade wars with the United States and the rest of the world. He said the United States is squandering an opportunity to become more prominent internationally and to solidify its relations with other countries.
“China has a long history of engaging in trade wars with the United States and other countries, and the world is increasingly dependent on critical minerals.
“We have an incredible opportunity to export these minerals to allies and partners around the globe, lessening the grip of countries like China and global supply chains,” Mr. Stauber said.