Murkowski Comments on DOE Critical Minerals Strategy

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today made the following statement regarding the Department of Energy’s release of its first report on critical minerals, including rare earths elements.

“Secretary Chu deserves to be commended for his leadership in producing this comprehensive and useful report identifying the challenges we face as a nation in securing the raw materials vital to the advancement of cleaner energy. Now it’s time for the Interior Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies to play a similarly constructive role in confronting the mineral supply challenges that could derail the clean energy technology objectives that we all share,” Murkowski said. “I will continue to work with my colleagues and the administration to advance policies that will bolster the domestic production of these materials and reduce our reliance on China.”

Murkowski, the ranking member on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, introduced legislation earlier this year to promote domestic production of rare earths (RESTART Act). China currently accounts for 97 percent of the global rare earth production and has restricted their export in the past.

Rare earths are a group of 17 elements that are increasingly vital to a wide range of modern technologies, including wind turbines, electric vehicles, solar cells, and energy-efficient lighting.