Barletta Applauds Administration’s Effort to End Reliance on Chinese Rare Earth Elements

Oct 12, 2018
Press Release
Has actively worked to promote extraction of Rare Earth Elements from Pennsylvania’s anthracite coal

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Lou Barletta (PA-11) released the following statement regarding the recent Department of Defense report, Assessing and Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States.  The report is a result of Executive Order 13806, issued by President Donald J. Trump in July 2017.

Rare Earth Elements, known as REEs, are critical components in everything from cell phones to many of the major weapons systems the U.S. relies on for national security.  However, the U.S. continues to rely on China to supply these important materials.  This is a serious national security concern.

“Luckily, we have a large supply of REEs right here in Pennsylvania’s own anthracite coal. That’s why, last year, I helped secure funding for a pilot project to extract REEs from coal waste, and why I’ve continued to push the Trump Administration to increase domestic production of these materials.  I’m pleased to see these priorities were included in the comprehensive review of our nation’s defense industrial base and manufacturing base recently provided to the President. Domestic production of REEs will strengthen national security and bring good-paying jobs and economic growth to the Commonwealth. 

“I look forward to continuing to work with the Trump Administration to strengthen our domestic production of REEs and limit how much we rely on China for critical components of our national security.”

To read the report, click here.

Barletta has been a strong proponent of REE development in Pennsylvania.  On January 17, 2017, Barletta sent a 
letter to then Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, in support of an application jointly submitted by Penn State University, Texas Mineral Resources Corporation, and Indenture Renewables/K Technologies to receive financial assistance through the Department of Energy’s (DOE) “Production of Salable Rare Earth Element Materials from Coal and Coal By-Products” funding opportunity.  Following the letter, DOE awarded the $1 million grant to the consortium.  Last September, Barletta brought U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry to see the important work happening at the REE extraction site in Ebervale, PA.