Newhouse, Amodei Join Local Leaders to Spotlight Critical Domestic Lithium Mine
"Nevada's New Lithium Mine: Securing America's Independence"
Washington, April 6, 2022 | Elizabeth Daniels (202-280-8720)
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Chairman Dan Newhouse (WA-04) and Vice Chair Mark Amodei (NV-02) hosted a Congressional Western Caucus virtual forum titled, “Nevada’s New Lithium Mine: Securing America’s Independence.” The forum featured local leaders who discussed the bureaucratic and regulatory delays that result from broken permitting processes while celebrating the recent permitting of the Thacker Pass Lithium Mine in Nevada.
“The final permitting of Thacker Pass is truly something to celebrate. This new mine will help decrease our reliance on foreign countries and ensure that we have a secure, domestic supply of lithium going forward,” said Chairman Newhouse. “As we have seen in other parts of the country, permitting new mines can be a bureaucratic nightmare. Despite the Biden Administration’s purported prioritization of a strengthened critical mineral supply, they continue to cancel, stall, and pull the permits for new mining projects that would help us accomplish this goal. I want to thank Vice Chair Amodei for joining us to highlight this important opportunity for Nevada’s communities and the entire United States. These forum participants are truly an example of the collaboration, innovation, and persistence that is needed to support domestic mineral development, and the Western Caucus will continue to advocate on their behalf.”
"As we sit here and talk about how important renewables are and how important electric vehicles are and how batteries play a role in that, when we look at what’s actually been done, it’s amazing to see there’s an underlying culture of ‘if it’s gotta be mined in the U.S. it’s a bad thing,’” said Vice Chair Amodei. “Therefore, we choose to rely upon foreign sources when, quite frankly, these foreign sources can’t match the record of what our domestic sources do in terms of environmental responsibility or responsible employment practices, salaries, and benefits. …Yet for a political agenda, the U.S. is trying to make it as difficult as possible – despite the fact that the environmental record for modern mining is incredible.”
President Biden recently invoked the Defense Production Act to encourage the development of lithium and other critical minerals. The Thacker Pass Lithium Mine will strengthen America’s energy security and independence, local communities and economies, and our nation’s ability to decrease reliance on foreign countries.
The Members heard from three participants during the forum who highlighted both the importance of domestic lithium development, the impacts this mine will have on local communities and the State of Nevada, and the local, state, and federal impacts of the federal permitting process:
The Thacker Pass lithium project is an open-pit mine proposed to be developed in Humboldt County, Nevada, by Lithium Americas. In February 2022, Lithium Americas received final permits to break ground.
Currently, most of the world’s lithium is mined in Australia or South America with only 1% mined domestically. Thacker Pass is the largest known lithium deposit in the United States, third largest lithium deposit in the world, and the soon-to-be home to our nation’s next large-scale lithium mine. Lithium production from Thacker Pass will strengthen the U.S. domestic supply chain while bringing down overall carbon emissions, transport costs, and risks associated with manufacturing lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium has many uses, including batteries for cellphones, laptops, and electric vehicles. This mine would extract enough lithium to power approximately one million electric vehicles and generate about $6.7 billion in taxes with hundreds of millions of dollars in increased economic activity.