Category: Mineral Foundations of the Energy Transition

Biden’s conundrum: Expand EVs without harming the Earth 4/30/2021

Biden’s conundrum: Expand EVs without harming the Earth

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this article about President Biden’s plan to rapidly shift to electric vehicles and renewable energy could find itself in conflict with another, less prominent commitment: improving the sustainability of the mineral and metals sector.  April 30, 2021.

Geopolitics of the Energy Transition 4/22/2021

Geopolitics of the Energy Transition

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian was interviewed on the Hopkins Podcast on Foreign Affairs discussing how the global transition toward a less carbon intensive energy system is affecting global geopolitics as we know it. Over the past century, energy geopolitics have centered on struggles to secure oil and gas, but if oil and gas become less important, will energy geopolitics eventually go away?  April 22, 2021.

The US is worried about its critical minerals supply chains – essential for electric vehicles, wind power and the nation’s defense 4/6/2021

The US is worried about its critical minerals supply chains – essential for electric vehicles, wind power and the nation’s defense

Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how when U.S. companies build military weapons systems, electric vehicle batteries, satellites and wind turbines, they rely heavily on a few dozen “critical minerals” – many of which are mined and refined almost entirely by other countries. The level of dependence on imports worries the U.S. government.  April 6, 2021.

Comparative Analysis of Selected African Natural Gas Markets and Related Policies

Comparative Analysis of Selected African Natural Gas Markets and Related Policies

John Ayaburi, Shashwat Sharma, Payne Institute Senior Research Associate Dr. Greer Gosnell, and Director Morgan D. Bazilian write about the discovery of natural gas resources across the African continent that have inspired debate on how such resources should be developed and best utilized. In several African countries, the discovery of commercial quantities of natural gas reserves has led governments to explore a number of strategies, investments, and policy directions. Two contrasting cases are that of Nigeria, which has pursued policies promoting domestic natural gas consumption and export, and Ghana, which has focused on encouraging sectoral-level domestic consumption.  April 5, 2021.

Governments have identified commodities essential to economic and military security 3/31/2021

Governments have identified commodities essential to economic and military security

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Rod Eggert and Director Morgan Bazilian contribute to this article about obtaining critical minerals necessary to break the U.S. dependence on foreign production. The U.S. Defense department will help facilitate the building of facilities to process rare earths, part of an effort to secure supply independent from China.  March 31, 2021.

The material foundations of a low-carbon economy 3/19/2021

The material foundations of a low-carbon economy

Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee, Senior Research Associate Sara Hastings-Simon, and Director Morgan Bazilian write about how the transition to a low-carbon environment is rapidly accelerating and with it the potential for severe environmental and social degradation. The extraction and processing of key materials have already begun to affect developing economies, and policy changes are essential to ensuring a just transition.  March 19, 2021.

Why don’t environmental bonds fully cover reclamation costs? 3/17/2021

Why don’t environmental bonds fully cover reclamation costs?

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Graham Davis and Peifang Yang write about how governments often require that extractive industry firms post environmental bonds as financial assurance to cover eventual reclamation liabilities. Such bond requirements frequently do not fully cover the reclamation cost. We show that a revenue-maximizing government may reasonably require a bond amount smaller than the full reclamation cost.  March 17, 2021.  

Understanding and Disrupting Key Convergence Nodes of the Illicit Gold and Mercury Supply Chains in Latin America and Africa 2/18/2021

Understanding and Disrupting Key Convergence Nodes of the Illicit Gold and Mercury Supply Chains in Latin America and Africa

Payne Institute Faculty Fellows Nicole Smith, Sebnem Duzgun, Strategy and Operations Manager Greg Clough, William Soud, and Katy Seguin have received an NSF award for their research on “Disrupting Operations of Illicit Supply Networks (D-ISN)” that will enhance national health, prosperity and welfare by contributing to a better understanding of illicit supply chains and the ability to detect, disrupt, and disable them. The project involves an examination and comparison of key convergence nodes in the global supply chains for illicit gold and mercury in Latin America and Africa. It specifically focuses on Peru and Kenya because of the similar characteristics they share on their respective continents as important trading hubs to other regional markets via both air and maritime transport, as well as acting as trading hubs for other illicit commodities and goods.  February 18, 2021.

In Colorado, President Biden’s Energy Leasing moratorium on public lands brings praise, lawsuit 1/27/2021

In Colorado, President Biden’s Energy Leasing moratorium on public lands brings praise, lawsuit

Payne Institute Fellow Brad Handler contributes to this article on how the White House ordered a leasing pause while oil, gas, and leasing practices undergo a review. The order makes tackling climate change a priority and will be in place for public lands and waters while leasing and permitting practices for fossil fuel development undergo a “rigorous review.”  January 27, 2021.