The letter to Senators Landrieu and Murkowski from the NCPA:
The problem of Chinese dominance in the rare earths market cannot be overstated, given the United States’ — and in fact, the globe’s — significant reliance on rare earths for practically all modern technology. Computers, calculators, flat screen televisions, wind turbines, fuel cells, LED lights, electric car batteries — not to mention defense weapons, medical equipment, and even cancer drugs — all require rare earths to operate. The world’s demand for these minerals is only increasing. A disruption in supply could be incredibly problematic, and China has already cut its rare earths export quota significantly.
The United States need not, however, be reliant on other countries for our rare earths’ needs. Despite its production dominance, China holds only 36 percent of the globe’s rare earths reserves, while the United States actually has 13 percent of the world’s supply. Our problem is not a lack of minerals, but an unnecessarily cumbersome permitting process marked by confusion and duplication. As the 2013 report from Behre Dolbear on where not to invest in mining noted, “Permitting delays are the most significant risk to mining projects in the United States.”
The letter continues…