Legislative Updates: 112th Congress
Deutch Cosponsors the Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2011
Congressman Ted Deutch has cosponsored H.R. 618, the Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2011. Today, China controls approximately 97 percent of the world’s commercial supply of rare earth minerals, and a recent Wall Street Journal article documented that China is building a strategic stockpile of these materials that may strengthen their ability to control global prices and access. China has imposed increasingly strict export quotas on rare earths since 2006, putting pressure on dependent manufacturers to move production to China. In fact, China cut its rare earths exports by 72 percent in the second half of 2010. Our country has 13 percent of the known deposits of rare earths, more than enough to meet our needs, and this legislation is a first step to ensuring that products such as weapons guidance systems, advanced vehicle batteries, wind turbine motors, jet engines, televisions, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and optical cables are Made in America. The Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act directs the Department of Energy to establish a program of research and development aimed at advancing technology affecting rare earths throughout their life cycle, from mining to manufacturing to recycling. It also broadens the loan guarantee program for ‘innovative technologies’ under Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which will facilitate development of these new technologies by private industry, and promote research to reduce usage or find substitutions for rare earth materials.
You can read H.R. 618, the Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2011, here.