House Republicans, leery of Democrats’ climate policies, are pushing an alternative agenda: reducing US reliance on foreign-sourced critical minerals for everything from green energy to military equipment.
“This country would be in dire straits” if adversary nations stopped selling the US critical minerals, Pete Stauber (R-Minn.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, said in an interview. “We need to move on this, and keep the safety and security of this country in the palm of our own hands.”
Republicans see increasing critical mineral extraction and processing in the US as one of their strongest arguments against what they characterize as the Biden administration’s failure to confront potential national security and economic problems linked to importing many minerals from countries with human rights abuses such as China, Russia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Congo supplies about 70% of the world’s cobalt, including to the US, and uses child labor to extract it.
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