No, seriously, not to demean or belittle Erika Johnsen over at Hot Air in the slightest, because this is genuinely an important story. It’s just a damned shame that prominent so called conservative blogs can only cover important stuff like this on the weekends when their content is usually relegated to trivial stories about which treason committing asshole wants the tax payer to fund their sex change operation.
The Obama administration is wildly enthusiastic when it comes to propping up uncompetitive and so-called ‘green’ technologies they they in their wisdom have deemed will be energy sources of the future, and one of the reasons they generally offer for this exercise in asininity is our supposed need to become less reliant on foreign oil. Evidently, however, they feel no such similar desire to make sure that we become less reliant on foreign rare earth elements — the seventeen metallic elements that are essential to the creation of wind turbines, batteries for electric cars, solar cells, as well as cell phones and computers and all kinds of high technology.
Rare earth elements aren’t actually that rare, but the process for mining for and extracting them is currently a relatively energy-intensive, environmentally tricky, and costly practice. The United States maintains some pretty tight restrictions on their domestic production, and there are no substitutes for rare earths at the moment.
China, meanwhile, just happens to have some of the world’s largest known deposits of rare earth elements and hasn’t shied away from taking full advantage of them. They almost completely dominate the global market by contributing more the vast majority of the rare earths supply. There have been multiple dustups through the World Trade Organization over the past few years over China’s supposedly unacceptable trade practices, and while the United States is always keeping a weather eye on the situation and will be the first to complain about market manipulation, we haven’t really done much to streamline our permitting process and safety regulations to boost domestic production, either.
Now please read what I wrote on this very subject back in January of this year.
The EPA has been out of control for a very long time. In 1998 they shut down Molycorp in Mountain Pass California over trace amounts of thorium in their tailings pond. Seems like a small thing, until you understand what Molycorp did and who they were. Molycorp Mountain Pass was, until shut down by the EPA, the worlds largest producer of Rare Earth Metals. Rare Earth Metals are absolutely essential for the semiconductor industry.
In shutting down Molycorp Mountain Pass, the EPA handed the entire Rare Earth Metals market to….. CHINA.
It took Molycorp Mountain Pass 11 years to navigate the EPA regulator minefield and finally be allowed to begin clean-up and construction of their Rare Earth facility in Mountain Pass California. In Aug of 2010 they did exactly that, it then took them 2 more years of regulatory hurdles before finally in Jan of 2013 they we both capable of and allowed to resume full production and extraction of the Rare Earth Metals.
There it is there, in bold and italic, America was until 1998 the worlds largest producer of Rare Earth Metals on earth, and the god damned EPA shut down America’s dominance in that industry and gave it to China. That action should have been viewed, because to the strategic importance of the semiconductor industry to America’s national security, as a straight up act of TREASON. Instead, the criminally mendacious malfeasant EPA was granted even great regulatory power to cripple America’s national security and America’s economy.