Green Energy, Bad Bet for National Security

On November 2, the NCPA sponsored a conference on Capitol Hill that explored the direct link between national security and the domestic rare earths supply. This conference brought together some of the top minds, experts in the field, from academia, think tanks, federal agencies, legislators and industry, to examine the national security threat posed by near exclusive reliance upon China for a variety of critical minerals.

The conference was divided into three panels, a keynote speaker and then luncheon presentations by federal legislators with bills pending on the topic.

The first panel looked at the need for and uses of rare earths, problems with the supply, and the effect that increased demand for “green energy technologies” are contributing to shortages – and China is our only supplier.

The second panel examined other specialty metals that are critical for modern electronics and defense related technologies but for which supply is politically limited.

Follow the second panel David Diamond from the U.S. Department of Energy’s office of Policy and International Affairs spoke:

Senator Lisa Murkowski and Representatives Lamborn and Coffman have been leaders on this issue at the Federal level:

Video’s from the third panel and links to the NCPA’s recent publication on rare earths and the speakers’ power points can all be found at:

Moving forward, the NCPA will remain at the forefront of this critical issue by forming a working group. To participate, send an email to

Comments (3)

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  1. Dr. Steve says:

    Thanks for the conference and the post, and including the videos. Important and neglected information in all the political discussions.
    I’m working on a talk show host to invite you on his show.

  2. Brian says:

    Rare earths and our dependency on China for them is one of those long-term national security issues that not enough people are talking about. Gingrich brought up the national security threat of EMP in the last debate. Maybe he or someone will mention rare earths at some point? (it’s too obscure, so I doubt it)

    • John says:

      Australia is one of the other countries capable of supplying rare earths, as well as India. It is history how China brought down the price of rare earths and this has come at the cost of other suppliers closing down till it became profitable again to start producing. Local policies concerned about low level radiation materials as a by product have been blown out of proportion, it seems preventing the scare tactics is a major issue in this game. Perhaps price control by mining giant such as Rio Tinto and Newport mining corporation should be looked at carefully as they seem to influence world finance and peace.

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