States see lithium rush for EVs as environmentalists urge caution – by Zack Budryk (The Hill – January 20, 2023)

Nevada and other states are poised to rake in huge benefits from a boom in lithium mining for batteries pushed by federal incentives as U.S. demand surges for electric vehicles (EVs).

Environmentalists, however, are warning amid investments from the Biden-backed Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that a heavy-handed approach to lithium mining could bring many of the same problems associated with fossil fuel extraction.

The U.S. holds an estimated 3.6 percent of world lithium reserves, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, but extracting it is a painstaking process that requires infrastructure the U.S. has largely neglected to build since the height of American lithium production in the 1960s.

Currently, the U.S. has only one lithium production site — Silver Peak in western Nevada. The sector is dominated by Chile, China and Australia, something the administration hopes to change with billions in new investments.

For the rest of this article: