But, as great as our research and advancements are, the United States must become non-reliant on foreign nations who may seek to do us harm for the critical materials needed to make products such as electric vehicle batteries, phones, computer screens, and more. Today, the United States is import-reliant on 31 of the 35 critical minerals, which means that our imports are greater than half of annual consumption.
To solve this problem, DOE is researching ways to identify and extract critical minerals and rare earth elements from previously untapped sources in the United States, such as our vast coal reserves. Some five million metric tons of critical minerals could come from the recoverable reserves in Appalachia, with even more from our basins in the Western States.
Just last month we announced up to $30 million for innovation in critical materials processing technologies, which will move us closer to innovations that reduce both the cost and the environmental impact of the production of these materials.
Our “all-of-the-above approach” to energy demands not just innovating new energy resources and increasing reliability, but increasing security through ensuring our supply chains can keep moving and that America has the critical elements needed to make this awesome technology possible. DOE is proud to support these efforts and is thankful for the research, development, and commercialization from our National Labs and private sector partners across America.
Those efforts are going to benefit every American, every Ohioan … and especially every child growing up with a fascination for cars.