We face an existential climate crisis and must move quickly to convert our infrastructure to support low-carbon energy - but the clean energy transition cannot be built on dirty mining. It's past time to reform our dirty mining laws for a clean energy future.
Mining on public lands in the US is governed by the 1872 Mining Law, which fails to provide even basic protections for our shared public lands and the communities that call those lands home. More than a century of reckless mining has poisoned our air, waters, and lands – and has disproportionately impacted Indigenous communities. We must address the shortcomings of the archaic 1872 Mining Law, and because changing a law is a lengthy process, we couldn’t do it without your advocacy. We need your help with taking this to the next level.
We can avoid repeating the mistakes of the fossil fuel era by updating the mining law and meeting the demand for critical minerals in the most sustainable way possible: by recycling, reusing, and extending the life of materials and products we already have. Research demonstrates the significant potential for recycling to offset demand for newly mined metals for electric vehicle batteries. Effectively recycling end-of-life batteries could reduce global EV mineral demand 55% for newly mined copper, 25% for lithium, and 35% for cobalt and nickel by 2040. While we understand some mining must occur, it must proceed in the most sustainable way possible with strong environmental and public health protections. The status quo is not the answer.
Next, we need Congress to consider these reforms and finalize them into law. There is currently a bill that is being considered, called the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act of 2022.While some Members of Congress have cosponsored the bill, we need to urge more of our representatives to support these crucial mining reforms, so our clean energy transition proceeds in a just and equitable way. Send a letter to your representatives today!