With blissful abandon, President Joe Biden is proposing a massive expansion in electric cars, funding 500,000 charging stations for their batteries around the country.
There’s only one problem: China controls 80 percent of the globe’s essential raw materials—called rare earth minerals—necessary for the manufacture of car batteries.
Meanwhile, the United States has to import 80 percent of these minerals it uses, mainly from Beijing
So, in switching from gas-powered cars to electric cars, we would be switching from energy self-sufficiency to total dependence on China.
Instead of Arab sheiks controlling our destiny, Chinese communist apparatchiks would.
The U.S. once was the dominant global supplier of rare earth minerals until the environmental movement closed down the mines in California and Nevada that produced much of the world’s supply.
We are left with only one operational mine for these essential minerals — in Mountain Pass, California. The Washington Examiner explains that “the difficult part about extracting and using [rare earth minerals] is the separation and refinement process, which is largely controlled by China.”
While there are plans to build more mines and processing facilities — largely initiated by Trump — they will take years to come to fruition.
By racing ahead nevertheless with electric cars and charging stations, Biden is literally putting the cart before the horse or, if you will, the electric car before the battery.
It has taken America more than 50 years to be free of domination by OPEC. Because of fracking and offshore drilling, we have managed to increase our domestic oil production so much that we are now the largest producer in the world.
But Biden is about to give this all away by switching away from gasoline to electric cars before there is an adequate capacity to manufacture batteries in the U.S..
Indeed, the shortage of manufacturing capacity for batteries lies squarely in the path of almost all of Biden's Green agenda.
These batteries, powered by rare Earth minerals are essential for the production of solar panels and wind turbines. In thinking he can achieve full self-sufficiency in renewable energy without the necessary expansion of rare earth mineral production and processing, Biden is, literally, tilting at windmills.
Rare earth minerals are also key in the production of smartphones digital cameras, flat screen TVs, computer hard disks, LED lights, and computer monitors.
In the defense sector, they are necessary components in missile guidance systems, jet engines, satellites, lasers, and night vision goggles.
We all would like to see electric cars replace the internal combustion engine. They would lessen carbon emissions — about half of which are from cars and trucks — and cut pollution dramatically. But we do not want to do so before we can manufacture their batteries without depending on our main competitor and worst enemy to supply them.
I know Biden appears senile, but his staff, at least, should have done their homework.
Dick Morris is former presidential advisor and political strategist. He is a regular contributor to Newsmax TV. Read Dick Morris's Reports — More Here.
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