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If you are in Washington, D.C., join us for lunch and a panel discussion on Dec. 10, 12:00-1:30 p.m. on the current state of conventional nuclear energy, how policies might address economic concerns, and the future of nuclear in the U.S. energy mix. Read more details, and RSVP!
Visit the event page to see all the panelists.
November Discussion
Ongoing Discussion
Our November critical minerals discussion is still going! Interested energy professionals are welcome to participate through the end of November and the beginning of December until we open our next discussion the week of Dec. 9-13.

OEP experts have recently been discussing China's dominance in minerals markets and Africa's role (see comments below) , as well as the potential of lithium in geothermal co-production .

Also, Australia's Minister for Resources last week met with U.S. Commerce Secretary and signed an agreement on critical minerals supply. Australia is expanding its export markets for rare earths, lithium, and cobalt, in an effort to increase competition in global minerals markets. Watch a recording of the Atlantic Council's event with the Australian minister and see our Twitter thread .

" Among the strategies for critical minerals outlined in the U.S. government document, acquisition of assets abroad may perhaps be the most critical one. I believe that Africa has a significant role to play in satiating mineral needs of the world. From analysis of mineral asset acquisitions in a few resource-rich African countries, it can be safely concluded that the Chinese have become a formidable force in resources sector in Africa already.
"...In a nutshell, U.S. strategies for critical minerals need to take into account the African potential and address significant competitive advantage that the Chinese already have there."
- Dipesh Dipu , Jenissi Management Consultants
"The problem with the rare earths elements is not that they are particularly rare (they aren’t) but that they are hard to separate from one another. The different REE’s have different optical, electronic, magnetic, and catalytic properties that make them valuable in different applications. But their gross chemical properties are so similar that it’s hard to separate them. There are ways to do it, but the processes are capital and energy intensive.
"Industrial processing of rare earth minerals in China starts with two major advantages: cheap financing for plant construction, and the country’s willingness to burn coal for cheap electricity. But it doesn’t end there...." - Roger Arnold , Silverthorn Engineering
Reply to Roger Arnold: "As I understand the issue, China’s rare earth dominance has resulted from a willingness to endure environmental contamination and unsafe working conditions and then turn around and supply the product at a low price. Rare earths aren’t 'rare' in the sense that deposits are difficult to find, but they wouldn’t be available close to the price that China sells them without the existence of these factors."
- Emily Hersh , DCDB Group
  1. What do you see as the best way to address our dependence on foreign sources for these critical minerals?
  2. To what extent does the supply chain security risks of these minerals represent a barrier to climate change targets or goals?
  3. What are the key points across each supply chain for critical minerals where policy interventions are required?
This is our featured discussion for the month of November (and continuing through early December). Read more about the change to the frequency of our discussions and other updates in our October 2 newsletter .
New Publications
National Resources
Defense Council
November 6, 2019
MIT Energy Initiative
November 19, 2019
Find these new publications and others in the OurEnergyLibrary.
RFI Comments Submitted
OEP submitted comments last week to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis for its request for information (RFI). We received a reply that the submission was received and will be reviewed. Comments came from our recent RFI discussion and from other discussions this year on climate policy. Thanks to everyone who participated!
Update from Congress

  • Thurs, Nov 21 - The U.S. Senate voted 74-18 to advance the nomination of Dan Brouillette as energy secretary. The next step is a final confirmation vote in December.

New Legislation

Legislation Updates
  • Tues, Nov 19 - The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a business meeting in which it favorably reported 3 nominations and 15 bills to the full Senate. Watch the archived webcast and read more details.
  • The nominations were Dan Brouillette (to be energy secretary), James Danly (to be a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission), and Katharine MacGregor (to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior).
  • The bills included the Nuclear Energy Renewal Act of 2019 (S. 2368, Sen. Coons), the Energy Jobs for our Heroes Act of 2019 (S. 876, Sen. Duckworth), and the Advanced Geothermal Innovation Leadership Act of 2019 (S. 2657, Sen. Murkowski).
  • Tues, Nov 19 - The House Committee on Energy and Commerce held an open markup session of 18 bills in which it passed out of committee the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 2019 (H.R. 2699, Rep. McNerney) and the Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Environmentally Responsible Pipeline (SAFER Pipeline) Act of 2019 (Rep. Rush). Read Committee Chairman Frank Pallone's (D-NJ-06) statement on the committee passage of the nuclear waste bill, as well as statements by Chairman Pallone and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Rush (D-IL-01) on the pipeline reauthorization legislation.

Podcast Spotlight

Lithium-ion Rocks! ™ is a vibrant and engaging look at the mining and chemical industry supplying the lithium-ion battery-fueled disruption of the transportation and utility industries. Brought to you by co-hosts Howard Klein and Rodney Hooper, the Lithium-ion Rocks! podcast examines how the demand shock for new energy minerals from the rapid adoption of electric vehicle and grid storage is creating new specialty chemical lithium cash flow machines. 

In this episode , Lithium-ion Rocks discuss with Chris Doornbos, CEO of E3 Metals, the back story to this under-the-radar lithium developer, and his expected milestones on the road to potentially becoming a new, secure, and sustainable supplier of what Volkswagen calls the “Irreplaceable Element for the Electric Era."
Featured Events
Washington, D.C.
  • When: Tues, Dec 10, 12-1:30 p.m.
  • Where: Capitol Visitor Center, SVC 201-00

  • When: Wed, Dec 4, 6-9 p.m.
  • Where: Morgan Lewis, 1111 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

  • When: Mon-Thurs, Jan 6-9, 2020
  • Where: Resources & Conservation Center, 1400 16th St. NW, Wash., D.C. 20036
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