In his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, President Joe Biden promoted electric vehicles (EVs), trumpeting his plans to establish “a national network of 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations.” In so doing, Biden is unwittingly supporting the worst humanitarian abuses in the world. This is because of the way in which the materials used in manufacturing the batteries that power today’s EVs are obtained.
To obtain a reasonable amount of power per pound of battery weight, EV manufacturers generally use various forms of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries, so named because the battery’s positive electrode, called the cathode, is largely made up of the highly reactive metal lithium (Li). To keep the cathode stable when a battery is not in use, the lithium is combined in a metal oxide matrix, with different manufacturers using different combinations of metals.
Most EV manufacturers combine lithium with nickel, cobalt and manganese to create a Li-Ni-Mn-Co oxide matrix to form the cathode. Tesla substitutes aluminum (Al) for the manganese, yielding a Li-Ni-Co-Al oxide matrix for the cathode on their batteries. Tesla maintains that their formulae is more cost-effective as less cobalt is required.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki argued that higher gasoline prices, which critics blame the Biden administration for, highlight the need for a rapid transition to clean energy.
“Our view is that the rise in gas prices over the long term makes an even stronger case for doubling down our investment and our focus on clean energy options so we are not relying on the fluctuations and OPEC and their willingness to put more supply and meet the demand in the market,” Psaki told reporters during Friday’s press briefing.
As the supply chain crisis continues to worsen, Americans can expect to pay higher energy costs in order to maintain heating in the coming winter, says Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.
In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday, Granholm said “this is going to happen…it will be more expensive this year than last year.”
While Granholm claimed that “we are in a slightly beneficial position…relative to Europe,” she nonetheless admitted that the United States has “the same problem in fuels that the supply chains have, which is that the oil and gas companies are not flipping the switch as quickly as the demand requires.”
Energy experts criticized President Joe Biden’s plan to prioritize wind farms, arguing wind power is costly, inefficient and indirectly produces greenhouse gas emissions.
Wind energy, like solar, is often unreliable since it is intermittent, or highly dependent on nature and out of the control of suppliers, according to the experts. Higher reliance on wind to produce even a fraction of a nation’s energy supply, therefore, cou ld lead to higher prices depending on the weather.
“Both wind and solar have Achilles heels in that they’re intermittent,” Dan Kish, a senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.
Seven Democratic U.S. representatives have asked Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, to not target the oil and gas industry in the budget reconciliation bill before Congress.
Despite the concerns they and those in the industry have raised, Democrats in the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee pushed through a section of the bill, which includes billions of dollars in taxes, fines and fees on the oil and gas industry in the name of climate change.
Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva, D-Ariz., said the section of the bill that passed “invested in millions of American jobs” and put the U.S. “on a more stable long-term economic and environmental path.”