Photo: Manny Becerra
In support of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $30 million to help lower the costs of the onshore production of rare earths and other critical minerals and materials from domestic coal-based resources.
The funding will help meet the growing demand for critical minerals in the United States, whilst aiming to reduce reliance on offshore supplies. Rare earths and other critical minerals are key to U.S. manufacturing of clean energy technologies—such as solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells—to advance President Biden’s historic climate agenda.
U.S. Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M. Granholm, said:
“President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is helping rebuild America’s manufacturing sector by enhancing our ability to produce the critical minerals necessary to develop clean energy technologies.
“Thanks to these transformative investments, we are reducing our reliance on foreign supply chains while delivering high-quality jobs throughout the communities that have helped power the nation for generations.”
The program contributes to President Biden’s Justice40 Initiative, which works to ensure that 40% of the overall benefits of certain federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are underserved and overburdened by pollution.
Since January 2021, DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management has announced an estimated $41 million in projects that support critical minerals and materials exploration, resource identification, production, and processing in traditional mining and fossil fuel-producing communities across the country. This total includes $16 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for detailed engineering and cost studies toward a first-of-a-kind domestic facility that will extract and separate rare earth elements and critical minerals from unconventional sources like mining waste. This funding will create new opportunities to remediate land and water while generating rare earth elements necessary for a clean energy economy.