By Liam Denning
America’s energy angst was easier to gauge before the energy transition: You just looked at oil imports. Now it means also fretting about where we get stuff like lithium and… graphite. That’s right, the stuff in pencils is now part of our national neurosis — and it makes the lithium gap look easy by comparison. The electric vehicle industry needs a plan. Fast.
Besides greening the economy, President Joe Biden wants more green stuff mined and made at home, something he reemphasized in this week’s State of the Union speech. Some months before the Inflation Reduction Act passed, Biden also invoked the Defense Production Act to boost domestic sources of battery minerals. The aim is to wrest control of clean technology supply chains away from a country that has been building them assiduously for years: China.