US advances review of Nevada lithium mine amid concerns over endangered wildflower – by Scott Sonner (Associated Press – April 23, 2024)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — The Biden administration has taken a significant step in its expedited environmental review of what could become the third lithium mine in the U.S., amid anticipated legal challenges from conservationists over the threat they say it poses to an endangered Nevada wildflower.

The Bureau of Land Management released more than 2,000 pages of documents in a draft environmental impact statement last week for the Rhyolite Ridge mine. Lithium is a metal key to the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles — a centerpiece of President Joe Biden’s “green energy” agenda.

Officials for the bureau and its parent Interior Department trumpeted the news, saying the progress in the review of the lithium-boron mine project “represents another step by the Biden-Harris administration to support the responsible, domestic development of critical minerals to power the clean energy economy.”

“Federal agencies cooperating to solve issues efficiently while protecting vulnerable species and other irreplaceable resources is exactly how we will need to move forward if we’re going to produce these critical minerals in the United States,” said Steve Feldgus, deputy assistant Interior secretary for land and minerals management.

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