Op-ed: Let’s start here, in America

28 February 2022

by Brent Wilson, CEO of Galvanic Energy.

It’s easy to get caught up in the recent marketing hype around electric vehicles. EVs are becoming more common across the United States as prices are starting to come down and choices are increasing.

The wave of popularity is building, but there are dark clouds ahead if we don’t take notice. It’s an issue the battery industry has been whispering about for some time.

The US battery supply chain risks being caught flat-footed and is in danger of being run over by overwhelming demand as thousands of new electric vehicles are hitting American streets every year. The primary cause for concern is the country’s dependence on China for its lithium battery manufacturing.

There may not be enough EVs on the road today for that to matter much, but just wait. We only have to look to the oil embargoes of the 1970s to realize our dependence on a foreign energy supply is cause for action.

Do we really want to travel down that road again? Let’s learn from those dark days, and draw from our own resources, our own manpower and our own technology to compete in this ever-growing market. We can start by establishing government policies that encourage development of a comprehensive supply chain that can feed the nation’s burgeoning lithium-ion battery market.

Currently, there is only one operating lithium mine in the US, and that is a sobering fact. The promise of rising demand and improving economic potential, coupled with emerging extraction technologies that are environmentally sustainable, are now encouraging companies to venture forward. The American spirit of independence and ingenuity will guide us as we build a lithium battery industry that produces raw materials from US reserves so we can supply US battery manufacturers and US consumers for decades to come.

We cannot afford to miss this opportunity.

Exploration and mining are technologically challenging and capital-intensive. They also take time. Therefore, private companies and governmental regulators must work together to support and encourage domestic production and do so in a manner that promotes responsible operations. The domestic lithium industry must be developed with an eye on sustainability, environmental impacts and with input from the communities adjacent to lithium production sites.

Electric vehicles are at the heart of our fight to reduce carbon emissions and address climate change, but there is no pathway to meet global climate targets without aggressively and sustainably ramping up the production of minerals and metals right here in America.

Brent Wilson is CEO of Galvanic Energy, a geoscience-driven resource exploration company with expertise in reservoir characterization and mineral acquisition. Employing innovative, proprietary discovery methods to identify natural resources essential to the US renewable energy sector, Galvanic Energy develops resource plays that require low environmental footprints and utilize the least invasive extraction processes to provide vertical integration of green technologies toward the development of electric mobilization and energy storage.