Today, Abigail Wulf, Vice President and Director of SAFE’s Center for Critical Minerals Strategy, testified before the Senate Energy and National Resources Committee on domestic critical mineral supply chains.
During her opening statement, Wulf noted the importance of critical minerals as we transition to an electric world. “Make no mistake: the future is electric. Not because of government financial support or environmental consciousness, which are certainly major factors today. But because our lives becoming more digital and autonomous, which inherently means more electric. Also, EVs are becoming more economically viable on their own terms, paving the way for mass adoption for average consumers.…All those millions of new EVs will run on batteries, and all those batteries will require processed minerals in seismically vaster quantities than are being produced today.”
As the U.S. auto sector heavily depends on critical minerals to effectively compete and globally lead, she remarked, “Without some significant course corrections on America’s critical minerals enterprise, the leading automobile power won’t be the United States – it will be China. Not because of superior design or technology. But because of their massive head start and established market power, if not utter dominance, in all aspects of the supply chain that powers [electric] vehicles.”
One area in which America’s mineral supply chain is severely lacking – and China is most dominant – is processing. “Consider that in 2019 about 70 percent of the world’s cobalt supply was mined in the DRC, but more than 70 percent of cobalt refining was IN or controlled BY China. The first metric is an act of nature. The second is an act of policy.” She added, “ ‘Made in America’ cannot just mean assembling, essentially snapping together, vehicle parts whose most important components come from somewhere else – especially when that’s an unreliable foreign source.”
Contact: Bridget Dunn | 202.539.7885 | firstname.lastname@example.org