Biden DOE pick ‘enthusiastically supportive’ of US critical mineral policies – by Jacob Holzman (S&P Global Market Intelligence – January 2021)

In a signal of how the Biden administration will tackle U.S. mining, U.S. Energy Secretary nominee Jennifer Granholm voiced unerring support for marshaling the powers of the federal government to ensure steady domestic supplies of critical minerals, including lithium and cobalt.

Granholm, a former governor of a state legendary for its auto industry, said at her Jan. 27 Senate confirmation hearing that she was “enthusiastically supportive” of policy efforts geared toward boosting U.S. mining of materials integral to national security, including those used to produce lithium-ion batteries.

Her words echoed a national policy first set forth under the Trump administration then enacted by Congress to bolster domestic supplies of minerals in order to combat foreign influence over supply chains.

“If we are to build the supply chain for batteries, as one example, if we allow for China to corner the market on lithium or for the Democratic Republic of Congo to be the place where everyone gets cobalt when there may be child labor or human rights violations associated with that supply, then we are missing a massive opportunity for our own security but also for a market for own our trading partners that also may want to have access to minerals that are produced in a responsible way,” Granholm told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

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