Mandating EVs while discouraging mining is a recipe for disaster – by Joel Kotkin (National Post – September 12, 2023)

The current policy is devastating our economy, enriching our enemies and making middle-class life less affordable

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” wrote the American poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. This may prove no problem to the West’s climate-obsessed elites, who rail about the coming apocalypse, even while undermining the production of the very resources that would be essential if they are to have any chance to reach their cherished “net zero” utopia.

Although North America, and most particularly Canada, possesses many of the critical resources — lithium, copper, graphite, nickel, cobalt and rare earths — necessary to build solar panels and electric vehicle (EV) batteries, green lobbyists are fighting even modest plans for new mines.

In the United States, there’s only one operational lithium mine and one for rare earth metals. New projects, including one to tap the enormous lithium deposits in Maine and Nevada, face opposition from both the Biden administration and progressive states, whose governments ironically created the demand in the first place.

This refusal to increase the production of critical minerals, along with ever-more-stringent government mandates, has increased battery prices, with the cost of the materials needed to produce lithium-ion batteries rising threefold last year compared to 2021.

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