Essential Minerals, Clean Energy, and National Security:
This week I moderated a panel on workforce development and local hire with the Council of Alaska Producers/Alaska Miners’ Association this week.
In the face of aggression by Russia and China, we need to think long term about more resilient supply chains for essential mineral production, processing, and manufacturing of technology for vehicles, planes, computers, and a wide range of other products.
The Biden Administration has taken important steps to boost domestic production of batteries through the Defense Production Act, and Congress passed the CHIPS Act to onshore manufacturing of semiconductors. With the parallel trends of vehicle electrification, massive increases in renewable generation, and a national security imperative around minerals, we will see rapidly growing demand for essential minerals ranging from graphite to gold to silver.
These trends are impacting Alaska already with growth in minerals output, and I think the state should do its part to maximize local hire and workforce readiness, ensure we support clean energy systems, and think seriously about how our infrastructure can enable more resilient North American supply chains for processes that would otherwise take place in China..
Thanks for being engaged throughout this legislative session.