President Biden unveiled his infrastructure and jobs package today. A major bipartisan push to rebuild crumbling tunnels, bridges, roads and jumpstart critical investment in renewable energy and electric vehicle (EV) technology and deployment could not come at a better time.
The U.S. is the wealthiest country in the world, yet we rank 13th when it comes to the overall quality of our infrastructure. Of great concern is China’s commanding lead in the EV revolution and what it could mean for the future of the auto industry. China is using its dominance of material supply chains to pull ahead and build the EV and battery industries critical to the future of transportation.
National Mining Association President and CEO Rich Nolan recently wrote, “As we harness the economic opportunities of an EV future and aim to reshore critical industries as part of the effort to build back better, we must make the development of a world-class mineral supply chain a priority.”
It’s imperative that we support the American mining of metals like copper, silver, lithium, and nickel, invest in the domestic plants that make batteries for EVs, encourage automakers to utilize domestically-mined materials and retool factories so that they can compete globally. If policymakers don’t recognize the need to adjust course, the future of the U.S. auto industry, the millions of jobs it supports and our supply chain security will hang in the balance.
The president has already called for replacing aging diesel transit vehicles and utilizing powerful procurement tools to electrify federal and Post Office vehicles so that we’re on a path to a 100% EV federal vehicle fleet. A made-in-America EV future should include a domestic EV supply chain built from the mine up.
To meet the President’s goal of zero emissions by 2050, the U.S. will need to make bold investments – not just in more EVs and the installation of 500,000 new charging stations nationwide but in our own domestic mining industry to ensure we are not beholden to foreign supply chains to meet our goals.
The Biden administration and Congress must seize this opportunity to gain a competitive advantage on the world stage and invest in modernizing America’s infrastructure, addressing supply chain issues and supporting an EV future which should begin with American made minerals.