Document Type



Environmental Law Reporter




One potential obstacle to a successful energy transition involves the critical minerals used in production of photovoltaic solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and batteries. A substantial portion of these will have to come from new and expanded mining operations around the world. But mining is controversial, in part due to the past failures of operators to protect communities and the environment. This Article considers how nations can responsibly identify, source, and process these minerals, and then deploy them in renewable energy products. Its scope is global, but U.S. laws and policies take center stage with a nod to the broader global aspects involved. These policy issues include the emerging commitment of private companies to environmental, social, and governance standards, and the federal government's role in authorizing mining operations, especially on public lands.