Biden’s new Arizona national monument exposes Grand Canyon-like divide between supporters and critics – by Mark Eddington (Salt Lake Tribune/Moab Times-Independent – August 17, 2023)

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‘The Arizona Strip is historically, religiously, culturally more Utah than Arizona,’ one Utah mayor said

America’s newest national monument may be in Arizona, but critics argue the Biden administration was out of line and out of touch to create it without first consulting with the Utahns who will be impacted the most.

During his visit to the Historic Red Butte Airfield Aug. 8, a few miles south of the Grand Canyon, President Joe Biden designated over 917,000 acres of federal forest and rangelands in northern Arizona as the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni — Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument.

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Momentum builds for Piedmont Lithium’s ambitious production plans as portfolio expands in Africa – by Amanda Stutt ( – August 18, 2023)

Piedmont Lithium (Nasdaq: PLL; ASX: PLL) this week acquired a 22.5% stake in Atlantic Lithium’s (ASX: A11) flagship Ewoyaa project in Ghana after committing $17 million to fund the project through its definitive feasibility study, adding an Africa asset to its expanding portfolio of operations.

It completed the second stage of the investment agreement signed in 2021. Under the deal, Piedmont can earn a 50% equity interest in Atlantic’s Ghanaian lithium portfolio, headlined by the Ewoyaa project. The first stage involved a $15 million investment into Atlantic, previously IronRidge Resources.

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Will green energy kill coal mining? Why these industry leaders say it won’t – by Amy Joi O’Donoghue (Deseret News – August 17, 2023)

‘In the United States we are on a trajectory of energy poverty’

Utah’s coal country is in the midst of redefining itself. Carbon County — aptly named for its rich coal resources — saw the closure of its sole coal-fired power plant in 2015. Its mines, which historically numbered 16, are all shuttered.

Struggling against the backdrop of those tangible impacts, residents had to endure a property tax increase of 700% in fiscal year 2022. Price Mayor Mike Kourianos feels the sharp knife of energy costs slicing into his budget and has to answer for that to his constituents. There is no revenue coming from coal.

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Stellantis invests more than $100 million in California lithium project – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters – August 17, 2023)

(Reuters) – Automaker Stellantis said it would invest more than $100 million in California’s Controlled Thermal Resources, its latest bet on the direct lithium extraction (DLE) sector amid the global hunt for new sources of the electric vehicle battery metal.

The investment by the Chrysler and Jeep parent announced on Thursday comes as the green energy transition and U.S. Inflation Reduction Act have fueled concerns that supplies of lithium and other materials may fall short of strong demand forecasts.

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B.C. attempts to facilitate discussions with U.S. on selenium contamination from province’s coal mines – by Bob Weber (CBC News British Columbia – August 16, 2023)

Toxic substance found in high levels in B.C.’s Lake Kookanusa, a reservoir that feeds into American rivers

The British Columbia government has changed its tune on a long-requested investigation into contamination from mines flowing into U.S. waters, opening the door to progress on an issue that has drawn the attention of President Joe Biden.

The province has confirmed to The Canadian Press that it would now welcome a role in such an investigation for the International Joint Commission, a body created in 1909 to resolve water-related disputes between the two countries.

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Tennessee Refinery Could Break Chinese Chokehold on Two Critical Minerals – by Natalie Liu (Voice of Amercia – August 15, 2023)

A solution to potential shortages of two critical minerals used in making semiconductors and advanced military equipment — exports of which were restricted by China this month — may be lying in some waste storage ponds in central Tennessee.

Owners of a zinc processing facility in the southern U.S. state say they are developing a plan to extract the two minerals — gallium and germanium — from the ponds where for years the company has deposited the residue from its refining of zinc from five mines located in central and eastern Tennessee.

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One year on, how America’s Inflation Reduction Act has changed Canada – by Naimul Karim (Financial Post – August 16, 2023)

Look back at the impact of a bill that sent shock waves through the world’s supply-chains

The United States a year ago passed a 730-page piece of legislation that almost single-handedly paved the way for some of the world’s biggest manufacturing companies to change their supply-chain systems.

Signed into law on Aug. 16 by President Joe Biden, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), contrary to its title, wasn’t just about bringing down inflation, which was at its peak a year ago. Instead, it promised more than US$300-billion worth of tax credits, grants and loans to fund clean-energy projects and address issues linked to energy security and health care.

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Tribes pressure Canada over Teck water concerns – by Rob Chaney (The Missoulian – August 14, 2023)

Acoalition of Indigenous tribes is increasing pressure on the Canadian government to respond to their concerns over transboundary water pollution coming from Teck Resources coal mines in British Columbia. The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Montana, Kootenai Tribe of Idaho and the transboundary Ktunaxa Nation sent reminders on Aug. 11 that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had pledged to meet this summer with U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration on reducing and mitigating the impacts of selenium and other mine-related contaminants getting into the Elk and Kootenai rivers.

Selenium in particular has been connected to significant declines in fish reproduction in the river system, along with massive fish kills near the mine site itself, although a disputed Teck study concluded that ice, not selenium was responsible for the 2017 die-off.

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Miners face ‘considerable challenges’ meeting demand from US climate law -study – by Ernest Scheyder (Reuters – August 15, 2023)

Aug 15 (Reuters) – The mining industry faces “considerable challenges” meeting larger-than-expected demand for copper, nickel and other electric vehicle metals fueled by a U.S. climate law, S&P Global said in a report on Tuesday, ahead of the legislation’s one-year anniversary.

The landmark U.S. Inflation Reduction Act offers tax breaks for EVs, solar panels and other renewable energy products made from metals extracted in the United States or countries with U.S. free trade deals. Metals from “foreign entities of concern” including China, Russia, North Korea and Iran will be banned in 2025. That has sparked a race among manufacturers to lock down supply.

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Yellen warns of risks of over-concentration of clean energy supply chains – by Andrea Shalal ( – August 14, 2023)

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) – The United States is working to build resilient, diversified clean energy supply chains to protect its economic security, while guarding against the risks posed by over-concentration in a handful of countries, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in remarks prepared for an event in Las Vegas on Monday.

Yellen will touch on the challenges of transitioning away from fossil fuels in a major speech she will deliver after touring a union facility where workers are learning skills to work on clean energy projects.

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Joe Biden’s Uranium Problem – by Darragh Roche (Newsweek Magazine – August 12, 2023)

President Joe Biden may soon be facing a political headache involving uranium and Russian President Vladimir Putin after his decision to protect land around the Grand Canyon from mining.

Biden declared almost one million acres of land around the Grand Canyon in Arizona a national monument, called the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni- Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument, on Tuesday in a move that has been criticized by mining firms and some conservatives.

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‘It’s not just Appalachia’s problem’: imagining a future without coal – by Adrian Horton (The Guardian – August 8, 2023)

The rhapsodic film King Coal blurs the lines of documentary and memorializes the coal culture that has shaped Appalachia

The film-maker Elaine McMillion Sheldon grew up roving around West Virginia. Like many children of Appalachia, her world was shaped by coal – her father worked for a mining company, and the family moved to seven coal fields in 12 years for his job. Her brother became a fourth-generation miner. “Everybody in my community worked in the coal mines,” she said. “If you were going to stay there and work, if you weren’t a doctor or a lawyer, that’s what you did.”

It wasn’t until she studied abroad as an undergraduate and asked people what they did for work that she realized the totalizing extent of coal. “Not everywhere has a king,” said Sheldon. “Not everywhere is completely dominated by this industry that controls everything from our rituals to the ways we live our life.”

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DEEP DIVE: Uranium Hunters in US West Face Partial Ban, Pollution Concerns – by Bobby Magill (Bloomberg – August 10, 2023)

Five weeks before President Joe Biden announced a historic new ban on new uranium mining around the Grand Canyon, Sarana Riggs approached the barbed-wire fence surrounding an inactive mine in an Arizona national forest, a Geiger counter in her hand. The Geiger counter didn’t detect any dangerous radiation that day from the Pinyon Plain mine, about two miles from the spot where Biden would sign the monument proclamation. But Riggs wasn’t convinced.

The activist grew up on the Navajo Nation near Tuba City, Arizona, where a uranium mill operated until 1966. It took another 24 years to clean up the site, and yet uranium was still found later in groundwater beneath the town dump.

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A Gift to Putin: No Uranium Mining Near the Grand Canyon – by Editorial Board (Wall Street Journal – August 8, 2023)

A new government land grab makes the U.S. more dependent on Russia.

With a stroke of his pen, President Biden on Tuesday walled off from development nearly a million acres of land that includes some of America’s richest uranium deposits. This is another monument to the Administration’s destructive energy policy.

The Antiquities Act of 1906 lets Presidents set aside federal land for national monuments to protect historic objects. Barack Obama used the law to remove millions of acres of federal land from oil and gas development. Yet even he resisted progressive calls to set aside uranium-rich land outside the Grand Canyon. Mr. Biden shows no such restraint.

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Biden Designates New National Monument to Protect Land Near Grand Canyon – by Talal Ansari (Wall Street Journal – August 8, 2023)

The mining industry and local Republican officials have opposed the move

President Biden designated a new national monument that would protect lands near the Grand Canyon, a move that has been opposed by the mining industry. The Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni—Ancestral Footprints of the Grand Canyon National Monument in northern Arizona covers more than 900,000 acres of public land. Biden, who is in Arizona as part of a three-state tour, designated the monument on Tuesday in an announcement near the Grand Canyon.

Biden has designated five national monuments, including the Grand Canyon one, as part of his administration’s conservation efforts. Several tribes have long sought permanent protection of their ancestral homelands in the Grand Canyon region, as have environmentalists. The mining industry has opposed curtailing access to uranium deposits in the area, arguing it will undermine the effort to produce more energy in the U.S. and increase dependence on Russia for the critical nuclear-power fuel.

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