Biden’s Actions Are Encouraging Supply Chain Dependencies From Foreign Sources


Despite President Biden’s February 24th vocal concerns about America’s growing dependence on unreliable foreign sources for the supply chain of materials and products to support electric cars, pharmaceuticals, hospital supplies to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and military hardware, his actions are directly opposite of his vocal concerns, as they are encouraging national security concerns.

Biden has learned very little from the first two countries to go Green, Germany and Australia, as neither countries’ manufacturing sector can compete with China and India, and thus depends on those foreign countries to support their mission to go green. With the Biden administration seeking an increase to the minimum wage to $15 an hour, America is surely not going to be competitive with China or India to manufacture solar panels in America.

Solar panels require “rare-earth” elements which are not currently mined in the U.S.A. Demand for these elements is expected to rise 250-1000 percent by 2050.  America is now 100 percent dependent on imports for some 17 key minerals, and, for another 29, over half of our needs are imported from unreliable foreign sources, introducing tremendous vulnerability to the American economy.

Also, alarming is the fact that about 90 percent of the world’s solar panels are built in Asia on coal-heavy electric grids. In the poorer world, replacing fossil fuels with new intermittent electricity sources like wind and solar power is hard because most people desperately want much more continuous uninterruptible power at lower cost, not fickle power at high cost.

For the push to convert from internal combustion engine vehicles to EV’s, each of those EV batteries weighs in at about 1000 pounds. To produce one battery requires digging up and processing about 500,000 pounds of raw materials such as cadmium, cobalt, lead, lithium, and nickel, all of which are dominated by those unreliable foreign sources for the supply chain. 

As the popularity of electric vehicles starts to grow explosively, so does the pile of spent lithium-ion batteries that once powered those cars. Industry analysts predict that by 2020, China alone will generate some 500,000 metric tons of used Li-ion batteries and that by 2030, the worldwide number will hit 2 million metric tons per year.

By the way, estimates are that by 2050, with current plans, the quantity of worn-out solar panels, much of its non-recyclable, will constitute double the tonnage of all today’s global plastic waste, along with over 3 million tons per year of unrecyclable plastics from worn-out wind turbine blades.

Under the Biden climate plan, America will be discouraging U.S. energy independence, starting with tightening restrictions on fossil fuel development by suspending Federal Oil and Gas Permits, encouraging the shuttering, and halting of further fracking efforts in America, and the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline.

As a result of the Keystone energy “loss” of Canadian oil to America inflicted by Biden, China just received an unwarranted gift for their industrial and military advantage.  America’s most serious competitor can now look forward to Canada’s oil being sent by truck and rail to the West coast ports, then flowing across the Pacific on tankers, rather than south to the U.S.A. via the safer, cleaner, and more efficient pipeline.

Read the rest of this piece at Eurasia Review.

Ron Stein is an engineer who, drawing upon 25 years of project management and business development experience, launched PTS Advance in 1995. He is an author, engineer, and energy expert who writes frequently on issues of energy and economics.

Photo credit: White House; President Joe Biden, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, signs executive orders. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)