Sunday, September 26, 2021

Environmentalists should support Nevada’s lithium mines


John Scire
Published 10:33 a.m. PT Oct. 19, 2020

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John Scire (Photo: Provided by John Scire)

This opinion column was submitted by Dr. John Scire, a professor of energy policy, climate change policy and other courses for over 24 years as an adjunct professor at UNR and elsewhere.

Climate change is real and is adversely affecting Nevada. One of the hottest summers ever in the southern end of the state and parts of the north, raging fires everywhere, toxic levels of smoke from Nevada and California fires engulfing the whole state. There is now species extinction throughout the world due to global warming, with oceans’ warming, rising, and producing catastrophic storms. This includes many more hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, catastrophic storms in the Midwest and less rain in Northern Nevada, which has adversely affected our farming and ranching industries.

But Nevada has the ability to help reduce global warming via electric cars and lithium mines. We now have one very large mine in Silver Peak and soon-to-be mines east of Tonopah at Rhyolite Ridge and Thacker Pass north of Winnemucca. There are a dozen other mine sites being explored. A green wave of new electric cars and trucks is about to hit the world. China is going all-electric and most of Europe is going all-electric. And all U.S. car companies and some truck companies are coming out with electric vehicles. Our lithium mines will provide the minerals to go into their batteries. We will make a ton of money for decades from our mining and ore processing.

I am stunned by some of the more radical environmental groups opposing all mines — even the ones that are very keen on reducing their environmental impacts, such as the Ioneer mine on the Rhyolite Ridge area. I strongly recommend that my environmental friends look at the big picture. These lithium mines will enable us to reduce our CO2 emissions massively as they provide the minerals to go into the electric vehicle batteries. If you really want to protect the environment, I urge all environmentalists to weigh the horrendous impacts on the environment of opposing all lithium mines in Nevada. And I urge our environmentally friendly governor and state Legislature to expedite the licensing of the mines. This will have a net positive affect on our environment and the world’s. It will also bring many thousands of jobs to both the rural and urban areas of Nevada. And I urge all voters in the 2nd Congressional District to vote out Mark Amodei, because he has done nothing to help our clean energy industries such as Tesla and the Silver Peak lithium mine, and has done nothing to reduce environmental impacts on our ranchers and farmers. Instead, he has done everything to help the oil companies in Texas. He represents Texas, not Nevada, in Congress.

Dr. John Scire has a Ph.D. in international relations and has taught U.S. foreign policy, energy policy and climate change policy and other courses for over 24 years as an adjunct professor at UNR and elsewhere. He also has 27 years of military experience, including 12 years in the Marine Corps as an active duty infantry officer; service in Vietnam; and 15 years in the Army Reserve in psychological warfare units.

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