On Wednesday, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) called out the Biden administration and climate change alarmists, saying that their opposition to mining threatens national security.
Crenshaw made the comments in a long Twitter thread, beginning by pointing out, “We can’t survive on a wind and solar-only energy future. That’s a tough pill for radical environmentalists to swallow.”
“What’s even worse is that it’s the same radical environmentalists who are preventing us from making the materials we need for solar and wind here in America,” Crenshaw continued. “Wind turbines and natural gas plants are not a one-to-one trade off. Building wind turbines and solar panels requires 10x the materials to deliver the same amount of energy we get with oil and gas.”
“Building a 100MW wind farm requires: 30,000 tons of iron ore, 50,000 tons of concrete, and 900 tons of non-recyclable plastics—and that’s just the basics,” he added. “If we want to meet the left’s renewable energy goals, we’re going to have to increase production of lithium by 500%, cobalt 460%, and graphite by more than 400%.”
Crenshaw then explained that the opposition to domestic mining threatens national security by increasing the United States’ reliance on adversarial countries like China to supply minerals.
“Countries like China have eaten our lunch when it comes to lithium refining. Lithium matters because it goes into all sorts of batteries, especially for electric vehicles,” Crenshaw wrote. “In Oregon, where we’ve got massive amounts of lithium deposits, activists have halted mining that could support production of 1 million electric vehicles annually. Why? To protect the sage grouse — which, let’s be honest, is basically a fancy chicken.”
“And in Nevada, lithium mining is tied up in a lawsuit because of a species of plant called Tiehm’s buckwheat that apparently could be endangered but serves no practical purpose (at least not one that should prevent us from mining lithium),” he added.
Crenshaw then pointed to President Biden’s recent decision to block the construction of a new mine in Minnesota and issuing a 20-year mining moratorium over a massive area in the state.
“This mine would give us copper, nickel, cobalt, and more, all necessary for renewable projects,” he said. “It’s also the only sizable place in the country where we get taconite. Why does taconite matter? Steel.”
“Taconite gets taken out of the ground and turned into steel. Steel goes into every structure you see around you. And right now, China is one of our biggest steel competitors,” Crenshaw continued. “National security aside—it’s lunacy to think that any other country is mining cleaner or with fairer labor practices. I’d rather give those jobs to Americans… For the sake of the planet and American workers, it pays for the U.S. to take the lead on this.”
Crenshaw then pointed out how costly and inefficient renewable technologies are, and concluded by saying, “America is blessed with resources, resources we can use for things like solar panels and wind turbines and everything else we need. Why don’t radical environmentalists want to use them?”