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A group of U.S. senators developed new legislation designed to protect the mining of minerals needed for EV batteries.

A group of U.S. Senators are banding together to help the growth of electric vehicle sales in the United States, but it’s not the group you’re thinking of.

Yes, several senators, led by Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow, are attempting to reinstate the federal tax credits for electric vehicles. However, there is another group of largely Republican lawmakers looking to find ways of ensuring the raw materials needed for batteries and other components are available in the U.S.

Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., Martha McSally, R-Ariz., and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, have banded together to introduce the American Mineral Security Act to boost domestic production of “critical minerals” that are often imported from China to make electric car batteries. 

While ensuring there is an ability of Americans to afford the pricey EVs, this group wants to ensure that automakers like Tesla Inc., General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and others actually have the ability ramp up their electric-car battery production in the United States.

(Electrifying America. Click Here for the story.)

Murkowski said in a statement that it is important for the U.S. not to cede ground to China in the race to power electric cars that several automakers are banking their futures on.

“Our reliance on China and other nations for critical minerals costs us jobs, weakens our economic competitiveness, and leaves us at a geopolitical disadvantage,” Murkowski said.

“Our bill takes steps that are long overdue to reverse our damaging foreign dependence and position ourselves to compete in growth industries like electric vehicles and energy storage.”

(Click Here to see how Google wants to take the guesswork out of EV charging.)

The legislation is designed to provide structure and support to President Donald Trump’s 2017 executive order to “designate a list of critical minerals and require that list to be updated at least every three years.”

It mandates nationwide resource assessments for every critical mineral and the implementation of “several practical, common sense permitting reforms for the Department of the Interior (DOI) and Department of Agriculture Forest Service to reduce delays in the federal process.”

Robbie Diamond, president and CEO of Securing America’s Future Energy, a lobby designed to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil, applauded the lawmakers for moving to address the nation’s mineral deficit.

(To see more about the bipartisan effort to reinstate EV tax credits, Click Here.)

Conversely, Trump has targeted the electric-vehicle tax credit for elimination in recent months. He suggested in a recent budget proposal that doing away with the tax break in 2020 would save $2.5 billion during a decade.

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