NORTH LAS VEGAS (AP) — Secretary of Vitality Jennifer Granholm mentioned the Biden administration desires to see lithium wanted for electrical automobiles to be mined “in a accountable means” that respects the atmosphere and Native American tribes.
Granholm mentioned throughout a go to to Nevada on Thursday to advertise President Joe Biden’s sweeping infrastructure plan that lithium, used for electrical automobile batteries, may grow to be a giant supply of job creation within the state, along with furthering the president’s formidable local weather agenda.
Nevada is residence to the one large-scale lithium mine at the moment working within the U.S. Two proposed lithium mines in Nevada are dealing with authorized challenges and pushback from conservationists.
This week, plans for one of many mines appeared in jeopardy after the U.S. authorities introduced it intends to suggest defending a particularly uncommon wildflower that grows solely in Nevada on the mine web site underneath the Endangered Species Act.
A 3rd proposed mine close to the Nevada-Oregon border has attracted authorized challenges and opposition from ranchers, Native People and environmentalists.
The challenges check the Biden administration’s skill to straddle its guarantees to guard public lands whereas pushing aggressive clear vitality targets like getting extra electrical automobiles on the highway.
Granholm on Thursday mentioned the administration desires discover a technique to obtain each goals.
“The administration desires to see mining occur in a accountable means on this nation to have the ability to get the lithium, cobalt, the nickel which might be mandatory for battery manufacturing for electrical autos,” Granholm mentioned. “It may be completed in a means that respects Indigenous communities. It may be completed in a means that respects the atmosphere.”
Granholm pointed to a challenge in California the place an vitality firm is working to extract lithium from brine from the Salton Sea, an inland lake. She referred to as the challenge “totally sustainable” and “very thrilling.”
The 2 proposed Nevada tasks are open pit mines, a distinct sort of mining, however the Vitality Secretary and former Michigan governor mentioned Thursday that there’s a “number of sorts of mines” and “all of them may very well be sustainable.”
“It’s simply obtained to be completed in the proper means,” she mentioned.
Granholm additionally reaffirmed Biden’s dedication to not revive plans to create a nationwide nuclear waste dump at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain.
Most Nevadans are against storing the nation’s radioactive waste on the web site about 100 miles from Las Vegas. Nevada politicians, pitted towards their counterparts in states that wish to offload their nuclear waste, have fought for years to dam the challenge.
Granholm mentioned the Biden administration is working to discover a place to retailer the waste the place the encompassing group and state can be keen to take it on and obtain compensation. She mentioned the method will get underway this fall, however the authorities is already soliciting data from events.
Granholm appeared on the North Las Vegas Metropolis Corridor with Gov. Steve Sisolak and U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford.
She deliberate to go to a photo voltaic vitality facility, tour a solar-powered residence and meet with elected officers, group advocates and employees throughout her two-day go to wrapping up Friday.
Michelle L. Value, The Related Press