Biden’s mining bait-and-switch is a disgrace

Last week, American Experiment noted that the Biden administration will not seek to mine the metals and minerals needed for electric vehicles in the United States despite the fact that Biden wants half of all new vehicles sales to be electric by 2030, and wants all new cars to be electric by 2040.

Instead, the administration claims (wrongly) that these minerals will be purchased from allied countries. This begs the question: why would the President want to create jobs in any country that isn’t the United States of America?

The Great Mining Bait and Switch

Biden’s decision to not foster domestic mining is a direct contradiction to a statement someone in his campaign supposedly told Reuters in October, where candidate Biden allegedly voiced support for mining the minerals needed for electric vehicles in America.

The President’s about-face means the high-paying jobs associated with the mining, refining and processing of essential minerals will not materialize in the United States. This work will be done in the developing world where there are few regulations for workers or the environment.

Mining Jobs Are Great Jobs

Mining jobs are great jobs, especially for creating opportunities for upward social mobility.

For example, in Minnesota, jobs in the iron mining industry pay nearly $100,000 per year, and a study by the University of Minnesota Duluth shows almost 40 percent of the jobs in the mining industry are held by people with only a high-school diploma.

These are the types of blue-collar jobs that help build generational wealth by giving regular people the ability to buy a home, have a family, and save money for their retirement or children’s education. These are the types of jobs that are desperately needed in rural America.

Make America Refine Again

Not only should we be mining in America, but we should also be refining these materials at home, too. Unfortunately, a recent report by the International Energy Agency shows the processing of essential minerals is utterly dominated by Communist China.

While many countries mine copper, nickel, cobalt, and lithium, these metals and minerals are shipped to China for processing. In fact, China refines 40 percent of global copper supplies, 35 percent of nickel, more than 60 percent of cobalt, nearly 60 percent of global lithium, and 90 percent of rare earth metals.

China’s dominance is bad for multiple reasons. One, it means that no matter where these minerals are mined, China controls the flow of these metals once they are processed, leaving the entire world at the mercy of the Chinese Communist Party.

Two, mineral processing is a labor-intensive value add for raw materials, meaning we are denying high-paying jobs to hardworking Americans and enabling a Chinese government that has enslaved Muslim minorities and forced them to build solar panels. It is economically and ethically immoral.

President Trump was not flawless, but no one could accuse him of not acting as a constant advocate for providing high-paying jobs for American workers. The President of the United States of America should want Americans to have all of the jobs, not just some of the jobs.

Having our minerals “Mined and Refined in America” would create strong economic growth here and provide environmental benefits for the entire planet. It would also ensure that these materials are produced in an ethical manner, and not by children in the Congo, or in slave labor camps in China.

Things are made better when they’re Made in America.