The Falsehood of “Critical and Strategic” Minerals

October 25, 2023 , 4:00 pm 5:00 pm EDT

According to the Department of Energy, a “critical mineral” is defined as “any mineral, element, substance, or material designated as critical by the Secretary of the Interior.” The label frames dangerous extractive practices as being essential to mineral demand in the U.S. and necessary for the transition to renewable energy.

The definition of “critical mineral” threatens to reduce environmental and community health protections and evade environmental oversight. Lawmakers across the country have introduced industry-backed policies that camouflage harmful extractive practices as necessary for national security.

In this webinar, CHE-Alaska will be joined by Bonnie Gestring and Austin Ahmasuk to discuss the false framework of strategic minerals and how the mining industry uses this terminology to evade environmental impact reviews, permitting, and public comment processes.

From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

SANTA CRUZ, CALIF. — The vision of recycling thousands of tons of discarded plastic in Santa Cruz County to fuel local diesel vehicles is one step closer to reality thanks in part to veteran boat captain Jim “Homer” Holm, who has campaigned to bring a small, commercially viable, plastic-to-fuel conversion machine to town next month for research and testing by Cabrillo College students.

If testing validates manufacturer claims, the technology could be a new alternative to shipping tons of plastic overseas for recycling or letting hard-to-recycle materials fill landfills. Instead, local communities would have a new, almost infinite fuel source to run diesel machinery.

Read more: Clean Oceans to bring plastics to fuel machine prototype to Santa Cruz Co.


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What do you think about converting plastics to fuel? 

Leave a comment below.