Business Insider reports that China may soon restrict exports for rare-earth minerals that are used in hybrid car batteries, computers, cell phones, flat screen monitors and high tech weapons that the US military depends on to fight wars around the globe.
It’s about time that the United States and other countries that uses these rare earth metals builds their own refining capability. Until now, they have bought from China, the only supplier on the planet. However, China has announced plans to curb pollution and greenhouse emissions dramatically. One strategy is to offer huge rebates to Chinese who buy plug-in hybrids or all electric vehicles meaning China will be using what they refine.
Recently, China also expressed concerns about some of the minerals crucial to green technologies since extracting and refining them pollutes and causes serious damage to China’s environment. That means the US and other countries will have to build refining capabilities to extract and refine rare-earth metals at home instead of in China’s back yard.
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