How to Avoid the Scarcity Scare

by Gary Gardner

In congressional testimony last November, Isabel Munilla, an official from the Department of Energy, gave an alarming assessment of U.S. reliance on foreign minerals. For 31 of 50 critical minerals, she warned,”…the U.S. relies on other countries for more than 50 percent of our requirements…Our reliance on non-allied foreign sources for these materials is neither sustainable nor secure.” Munilla employed what we might call the “scarcity scare”—the panic that supplies of critical minerals may be insufficient for all nations to participate in the transition to clean,