Murkowski Raises Domestic Critical Mineral Supply Chain to Secretary of Energy

Calls on Administration to Access America’s Own Resources

Today, during a U.S. Senate Energy Committee hearing on the Department of Energy’s (DOE) budget, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) joined a number of her colleagues on both sides of the aisle in emphasizing to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm the importance of capitalizing on America’s domestic energy and critical mineral supply chain. Senator Murkowski called on the Biden administration to pursue opportunities for domestic mining and production of critical minerals.

 Click here for video of Senator Murkowski.

 “We are paying close attention with a keen eye to this issue of critical minerals and where we source them from. You cite an IEA report that ‘electric vehicles require six times the mineral inputs of a conventional car, and an onshore wind plant requires nine times the mineral resources than a comparable gas plant.’ So, we’re going to have to get it from somewhere,” said Senator Murkowski. “I appreciate the focus on recycling; I know we need to be doing more, and I’m working with several of my colleagues on that. But, I think that we need to remember that before we can recycle, we have to produce it in the first place. So we have to get those minerals from somewhere.”

Senator Murkowski referenced a recent Reuters article which highlights the Biden administration meeting to discuss U.S.-Canada EV supply chains. Senator Murkowski was disturbed to see Canada referenced as America’s “51st state” when it comes to mineral production opportunities, when Alaska has such incredible resource development potential.

“I come from a state where we’re blessed with extraordinary natural resources. We have some great mining opportunities. We have a facility that we’re looking to in the Southeastern part of the state that will not only be a source of critical minerals but also heavy rare earths, and we’re looking to cite a processing facility right there in that region. It’s really quite exciting. But we have to have the ability to move forward with these mines.”

Secretary Granholm agreed that America should focus on developing a full domestic supply chain as opposed to relying on other countries. “We should be doing the whole thing, soup to nuts—the whole chain,” Granholm said.

Background: As a resource development state, Alaska has immense potential at a local, national and global scale. But, despite growing interest to bring domestic resources to market, America continues to rely on foreign countries to meet our oil, gas, and mineral needs. This hearing builds on Senator Murkowski’s diligent efforts to drive policy initiatives to create greater opportunities for America’s domestic energy and critical mineral markets. Recognizing that permitting times in the U.S. rank among some of the longest in the world, in April 2021, Murkowski introduced legislation to improve the quality and timeliness of Federal permitting and review processes with respect to critical mineral production on Federal land. Senator Murkowski also delivered a speech on the U.S. Senate floor expressing concern with the direction of the Biden administration with regards to energy security, citing detrimental actions such as placing additional federal lands and waters off limits. During her speech she discussed concerns over America’s dependence on foreign nations to meet our resource needs and stressed the importance of allowing responsible resource development in the United States. She then introduced the Strategic Energy and Minerals Initiative (SEMI) Act in May of 2021. Her bill enables U.S. companies to better compete in global markets by promoting the responsible, domestic production of oil, gas, and minerals. The bill positions the United States to compete in global energy and critical mineral markets by supporting an all-of-the-above energy strategy, pushing back against multilateral development banks restricting fossil fuel and coal development, and promoting energy and mineral exports.