Cantwell Calls For Investments In Recycling To Secure Critical Mineral Supply

Ranking Member Presses U.S. Advantage in R&D

Washington, D.C. – Today, in a hearing to examine critical minerals security, Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Maria Cantwell (D-WA) called for greater investments in research and development to advance scalable solutions for critical minerals recycling.  

Senator Cantwell asked “In the global market, tight supplies can sometimes push the innovation we were just discussing…and recycling can help us particularly with alternative minerals. What should we be doing to fortify for the future?” Dr. Eggert, Viola Vestal Coulter Foundation Chair in Mineral Economics at the Colorado School of Mines and Deputy Director of the Critical Materials Institute at the Department of Energy, responded “There’s already significant recycling of many of the major metals… [but] much less recycling of the specialty metals, the rare earths, the lithiums, the niobiums of the world...Now’s the time to be thinking about collection systems, sorting systems, and processing technologies.”

“Instead of waiting for the market to play that role, let us get started in playing that role,” said Senator Cantwell. “The strength of the United States from a competitive perspective is our R&D and our ability to take that R&D and show a scalable solution.” 

Broadcast quality video of Senator Cantwell’s questions can be found here.

Witness testimony will be available online immediately before the start of each hearing on the committee website.