While the public is appropriately fixated on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the Biden Administration’s decision to hastily pull out of the country has far reaching implications. One of these is Biden’s electric car ambitions for the U.S.
Just the News reports:
Beijing already dominates the rare metals market needed for electronics, electric car batteries and computers, a reality made more painfully obvious with the current computer chip shortage that is slowing production of new U.S. cars.
And now with the haphazard U.S. withdrawal from Kabul, one of the world’s largest untapped deposits of lithium — estimated by some at $1 trillion in Afghanistan — is poised to fall into China’s hands just as Biden has ordered that half all U.S. cars be electric by 2030 and congressional Democrats prepare to vote to invest tens of billions of dollars more to push that goal further.
The irony of the connections is not lost on world leaders.
“So the West wants to go green with electric cars. To do that you need lithium for batteries,” British politician Nigel Farage tweeted last week. “Afghanistan has by far the largest lithium deposits in the world and Biden has just handed them over to China.”
If the Biden administration wants the U.S. to switch to electric cars, regardless of whether or not that will have a meaningful impact on our carbon emissions, it needs to take into account the resources needed for such a change to occur, namely, the lithium needed to make the batteries for electric cars.
This is another example of how disconnected the Administration’s stated ambitions are and the actions they take.
Whether it’s giving a green light to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, asking OPEC+ to increase oil output, or ceding all influence in Afghanistan to China and Russia, Biden seems hell-bent on giving up power to foreign actors and placing America in a position of dependence when it comes to energy. When it comes to the energy aspect of the Afghanistan debacle, the story is no different.
China already dominates the world’s production of new batteries. They’ve corned the lithium market and the U.S. is reliant upon them for our batteries. Unfortunately, they also have a poor environmental track record. With the addition of Afghanistan to their portfolio, China will be able to increase its influence, furthering its imperial ambitions while continuing to disregard its impact on the environment.
If the Biden administration wants to push electric cars, they need to back up their grand proclamations with real action to achieve their goals. Or, better yet, they could choose technologies that are actually proven to reduce emissions, such as nuclear power or carbon capture and storage, while working to improve our green energy technology so as to avoid reliance on bad-faith foreign actors such as China. President Biden still has time to put America first.