King Labels U.S. Dependence on China for Lithium as Dangerous



US Senator Angus King is pushing for a faster permitting process to help support America’s renewable energy projects and counter climate change. Senator King highlighted the issue of lithium, essential for the manufacture of electric vehicles (EVs), noting that it can take over a decade to acquire a mining permit for the mineral in the US, leading to heavy reliance on China as a source. During a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing, Senator King questioned representatives about the changes needed in America’s bureaucratic permitting process to allow for the exploitation of clean energy opportunities.

Renewable Energy Permitting Process: Urgency Stressed by Senator Angus King

U.S. Senator Angus King is urgently advocating for streamlining the permitting process of renewable energy projects to expedite America’s fight against climate change. In a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee hearing, King interacted with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Land and Minerals Management, Dr. Steve Feldgus, and Mr. Rich Haddock, discussing the overhaul needed in the current time-consuming permitting process to seize clean energy opportunities offered by the Inflation Reduction Act.

Highlighting the critical role of Lithium in manufacturing electric vehicles (EVs), King pointed out the current decade-long process to secure a mining permit for this vital mineral in the U.S.

Expressing concern, Senator King stated, “We can’t afford 14 years to permit a lithium mine to support the EV industry, 85 percent [in Q4 2022] of the lithium [batteries] we’re now using comes from China. That is downright dangerous.”

Mr. Haddock reiterated the importance of permitting reform in securing supply chains for the country.

Responding to Senator King’s query about cleanup fund requirements for new mine permits, Haddock cited the existence of bonding requirements for long-term funds and confirmed that the issue of abandoned mines pertains primarily to past mines, not future operations.

Senator King further sought committee input regarding necessary changes in federal permitting requirements to expedite the permitting reform process.

As a committed member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator King has consistently pushed for climate solutions that capitalize on the clean energy potential of the Inflation Reduction Act, emphasizing the need for permitting reform. He underlined the need for efficient project timelines, maintaining environmental standards, in discussions with the Secretaries of Energy and Interior.

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