© Konstantin Semenov Dreamstime General | May 08, 2019
Senator Murkowski intros mineral supply chain legislation
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) announced the introduction of bipartisan legislation to secure the USA's mineral resources and supply chains for its 21st century auto and energy industries at the inaugural Benchmark Minerals Summit 2019, a closed-door event for invited industry leaders and U.S. government reps held in Washington D.C. last week.
A post-event press release distributed by Benchmark Minerals, the lithium ion battery and EV supply chain consultant and influencer, said that in her leadership role as chair of the U.S. Senate Committee of Energy and Natural Resources, Murkowski has pushed to secure the supply of critical minerals such as lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel and reduce the U.S. reliance on foreign sources. The new legislation, The American Minerals Security Act, goes beyond previous legislation, looking at not only the domestic mineral resources but the supply chains that refine the raw materials into specialty, engineered materials for lithium ion batteries and electric vehicles. It also follows a number of U.S. Senate hearings on the subject, featuring testimonies from Benchmark Minerals' Managing Director, Simon Moores, in October 2017 and February 2019. In a statement after the summit, Senator Murkowski said, "I have introduced the American Minerals Security Act, a bipartisan bill that takes a comprehensive approach to rebuilding our domestic mineral supply chain. Unless we take significant steps, we're at risk of ceding major economic drivers to other countries. "The significance of foreign oil dependence is widely understood, but our foreign mineral dependence is equally – if not more – serious. Last year we imported at least 50% of 48 minerals, including 100% of 18 of them. That should worry everyone, particularly because it is happening at the same time that demand, for everything from graphite and lithium to cobalt and nickel, is about to skyrocket.” Benchmark Mineral Intelligence Managing Director Simon Moores complimented Murkowski on her leadership role in U.S. supply chain security and said, “We are in the midst of a global battery arms race that is intensifying. Lithium, graphite, cobalt and nickel are the key enablers of the lithium ion battery and, in turn, the lithium ion battery is the key enabler of the energy storage revolution. Globally, they are facing a wall of demand especially from electric vehicles, yet the U.S. has been a bystander in building a domestic supply chain capacity. "These supply chains are the oil pipelines of tomorrow. The lithium ion battery is to the 21st century what the oil barrel was to the 20th century. Senator Murkowski's focus on not just the mineral resources but the entire supply chain is absolutely crucial to giving the industry confidence to build a U.S. blueprint for the energy storage revolution."