U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) issued a stark warning concerning the nation’s dependence upon foreign adversaries for critical minerals.
According to federal data, the United States imports 100% of its supply of 14 of the 35 minerals defined by the Department of Interior as being critical to the nation. Much of this foreign supply is produced by geopolitical foes such as Russia and China.
These minerals are deemed to be vital to the U.S. military supply chain, food security and consumer energy consumption.
In a Wednesday speech on the Senate floor, Tuberville lamented the federal government’s refusal to utilize the United States’ own natural resources.
“[O]ur dependence on foreign countries is growing every day. It’s putting us in a bad situation,” said Tuberville. “Where are we getting our imports? Mainly from Russia, China, and their surrogates … All the while, America boasts these minerals in abundance right here in the United States. This is a disgrace.”
Calling the matter “a self-inflicted crisis,” Alabama’s junior senator said the United States is “in a tough situation that’s getting worse every day.”
“Instead of using what we have at home — here in the United States — we’re importing them by doing business with nations that run counter to everything that we stand for and that we value… We depend these adversaries for huge amounts of our supply of minerals and materials we need to produce everything from batteries to pharmaceuticals.
“When it comes to critical minerals, we go elsewhere. We’re buying from countries that don’t have humane labor standards. Child labor, forced labor, slave labor. It all exists as I speak here today — and the American consumer is subsidizing everything that’s happening in these other countries by buying from them.”
According to Tuberville, the United States “shuns its mineral wealth rather than wisely and responsibly produce critical minerals from America’s vast geologic bounty.”
“We have it all right here under our feet. It’s possible to mine critical minerals in an environmentally-responsible way, we can do that,” he said. “We are the United States of America. We can do that like they do in Canada and Australia … We can protect our environment and the national interest at the same time. And the future of this country.”