Policies that force non-fossil fuel energy result in increased reliance on the rapid development and deployment of batteries and other technologies to meet decarbonization goals set by the United States and other industrialized economies. This Article focuses on batteries, noting that key minerals come from corrupt or hostile countries. Many key finished products come from China, thereby making the U.S. and the European Union reliant on an autocratic regime. Using cobalt as an example, the Article considers its production and the U.S.’s unwillingness to shoulder its share of the environmental burden of mineral extraction or refining. Further, the U.S. is increasingly reliant on China for inputs with no good substitutes, raising questions about the desirability of such economic integration. Efforts to spur decarbonization more effectively are warranted and may be nudged along by the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
Roger E. Meiners & Andrew P. Morriss,
Ethical and Strategic Issues in Decarbonization Policy,
Ga. St. U. L. Rev.
Available at: https://readingroom.law.gsu.edu/gsulr/vol39/iss4/9