Biden Backtracks After Signing Deal With Child Labor Hotbeds For Rare Metals

( Last week, the Biden administration blocked a major Alaska gold and copper mine from advancing after determining that it would have a detrimental impact on Bristol Bay, the home to world-class salmon fisheries.

In a September 2021 court filing, the Biden Environmental Protection Agency that it would block the Pebble Mine from advancing to keep Biden’s campaign promise. In December, the agency recommended a Clean Water Act determination.

In its final determination released last Tuesday, the EPA rejected the developers’ 2020 plan to establish the Pebble Mine by prohibiting the discharge of dredged or fill material in nearby watersheds that was outlined in the mine plan.

While the decision is hailed as a victory for conservationists and salmon fishers, it will also diminish the domestic supply of the minerals needed to produce the massive quantities needed to sustain the Biden administration’s goal of transitioning to clean energy and electric vehicles.

The EPA’s final determination also extends the prohibition to any similar mine plan that would seek to tap the reserves in the broader Pebble mineral deposit.

Given the Biden administration’s push to “transition” to green energy, it is under immense pressure to fast-track more mining projects. Minerals like copper, nickel, and lithium are integral in the manufacture of wind turbines and their generators as well as electric vehicle batteries.

However, the administration continues to get in its own way.

In late January, the Department of the Interior withdrew over 225,000 acres of federal land in northern Minnesota from consideration for mineral leasing over concerns that mining would pollute Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Developers sought to mine the area for nickel and cobalt, both of which are necessary for the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries.

Without domestic sources of the minerals necessary for the president’s green agenda, the US will have to rely on minerals mined overseas, largely through the use of child labor.

In October, the Labor Department’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs found that Chinese lithium-ion batteries are made using minerals mined by children in the Congo. However, in January, the Biden administration agreed to a memorandum of understanding with Zamia and Congo to strengthen the EV battery “value chain.”