Biden’s Green Agenda Could Be In Trouble As China Moves At Breakneck Speed To Corner Key Resources

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Will Kessler Contributor
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President Joe Biden’s climate agenda could be in trouble as China continues to rapidly expand its control over the production of valuable minerals essential to green technology like electric vehicles, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

China is growing its operations in the harvesting and production of nickel, lithium and cobalt as the U.S. and its allies suspend business at a number of plants in response to a glut in global supply, according to the WSJ. Minerals are essential for green products like EVs, solar panels and lithium batteries, as well as for defense technology through semiconductors, which Biden has sought to boost production of. (RELATED: German Automakers Accused Of Importing Vehicles Tied To Chinese Slave Labor)

“China is not just standing still waiting for us to catch up,” Morgan Bazilian, director of the Payne Institute at the Colorado School of Mines, told the WSJ. “They are making investments on top of their already massive investments in all aspects of the critical-minerals supply chain.”

China is working to expand its already expansive nickel operation set up in Indonesia, opening new plants and expanding old ones, according to the WSJ. A Swiss nickel mining operation in New Caledonia recently shut down, a U.K. operation in Brazil saw its investors flee last month and four mines in Australia are slowing down amid oversupply from Chinese sources.

The Chinese mineral market flood has also led the U.S.’ only cobalt mine to shut down last year, according to the WSJ. China’s cobalt operation has surged in the past few years, leading to production outside of the country declining to its lowest level in the past 15 years.

“It is our belief that that behavior can be intentional, can be happening with the purpose of driving companies in our country, in those of our allies, out of business,” Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters in April, according to the WSJ.

Biden has long sought to limit the U.S.’ reliance on Chinese products, particularly those related to his green agenda, most recently announcing new tariffs on EVs, minerals and batteries from the country. The Biden administration has also included requirements on its subsidies for the EV industry, limiting the percentage of Chinese components allowed in their production.

Despite looking to limit the reliance on Chinese minerals, the Biden administration has taken action to curb domestic mining operations, such as suspending the permit in June 2023 for a Minnesota mine that would have produced copper and nickel over concerns related to water quality. In April, the Department of the Interior curtailed the Ambler Access mining project in Alaska that could produce potentially billions of dollars worth of copper.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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