For decades, a group of the world’s biggest oil producers has held huge sway over the American economy and the popularity of U.S. presidents through its control of the global oil supply, with decisions by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries determining what U.S. consumers pay at the pump.
As the world shifts to cleaner sources of energy, control over the materials needed to power that transition is still up for grabs.
China currently dominates global processing of the critical minerals that are now in high demand to make batteries for electric vehicles and renewable energy storage. In an attempt to gain more power over that supply chain, U.S. officials have begun negotiating a series of agreements with other countries to expand America’s access to important minerals like lithium, cobalt, nickel and graphite.
But it remains unclear which of these partnerships will succeed, or if they will be able to generate anything close to the supply of minerals the United…
This article was written by Ana Swanson and originally published on www.nytimes.com