Category: Supply Chain Transparency Initiative

How a clean energy future is colliding with mining’s dark past 9/22/2022

How a clean energy future is colliding with mining’s dark past

Payne Institute Program Manager Jordy Lee contributes to this article about how no one wants a mine in their backyard. Clean energy will require a lot of metal.  As global demand for these “critical minerals,” a group that includes lithium, cobalt, nickel, and copper, is projected to increase by 400-600 percent driven by a surge in manufacturing of renewable technologies.  September 22, 2022. 

Lithium mining’s water use sparks bitter conflicts and novel chemistry 9/13/2022

Lithium mining’s water use sparks bitter conflicts and novel chemistry

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Jessica Smith is featured on this podcast exploring the impact of the world’s hunger for lithium-ion batteries, an important tool in the fight against climate change. Mining of lithium used to manufacture batteries in electric cars comes with a cost to the local environment and access to water. September 13, 2022.

More Than Just a ‘School of Mines,’ CSM Is a Major Player in Climate Research 8/25/2022

More Than Just a ‘School of Mines,’ CSM Is a Major Player in Climate Research

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this article about how the Colorado School of Mines, with its historic connection to fossil fuel and mineral extraction, would seem an unlikely place for a high-level pursuit of the transition from a world powered by fossil fuels to a world of clean energy.  However, Mines recognizes that saving our planet depends on transitioning from oil and gas to other forms of energy that reduce or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.  August 25, 2022.

Pandemic, War, and Global Energy Transitions 8/23/2022

Pandemic, War, and Global Energy Transitions

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian co-authors this paper about how the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine have impacted the global economy, including the energy sector. The pandemic caused drastic fluctuations in energy demand, oil price shocks, disruptions in energy supply chains, and hampered energy investments, while the war left the world with energy price hikes and energy security challenges. The long-term impacts of these crises on low-carbon energy transitions and mitigation of climate change are still uncertain but are slowly emerging. This paper analyzes the impacts throughout the energy system, including upstream fuel supply, renewable energy investments, demand for energy services, and implications for energy equity, by reviewing recent studies and consulting experts in the field.  August 23, 2022.

Perceptions and realities of mercury contamination in a Peruvian artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) community 8/22/2022

Perceptions and realities of mercury contamination in a Peruvian artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) community

Rolando Quispe Aquino, Payne Institute Research Associate Aaron Malone, Faculty Fellow Nicole M. Smith, and Fredy Fortunato García Zúñiga write about how artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is the leading global source of mercury pollution. Efforts to reduce or eliminate mercury use in ASGM have produced limited results, in part because they do not engage the complex socio-technical nature of mercury issues in ASGM. The paper takes a multidisciplinary approach to understand the mercury issue with a socio-technical lens, pairing sampling of mercury in soils with surveys of miners’ and residents’ perceptions of mercury pollution and its dispersion.  August 22, 2022.  

Why isn’t Big Oil up in arms about the climate-friendly Inflation Reduction Act? 8/8/2022

Why isn’t Big Oil up in arms about the climate-friendly Inflation Reduction Act?

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this podcast about how there’s a lot of stuff baked into the 755-page Inflation Reduction Act, which was approved in the Senate and is expected to pass in the House. Top of mind for many is the nearly $370 billion set aside for energy transition and climate change mitigation. In fact, some are calling the Democrats’ measure the biggest piece of climate legislation in U.S. history.  On the surface, that sounds like it could be bad news for traditional fossil fuel companies, specifically Big Oil and Gas. But believe it or not, some of them sound fairly encouraged by the bill.  August 8, 2022.

Manchin deal could raise new hurdles for electric vehicle incentives 8/4/2022

Manchin deal could raise new hurdles for electric vehicle incentives

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this article about how Democrats’ push to boost electric vehicles could be hobbled by some of the protectionist supply chain provisions they included as requirements to get electric vehicle tax credits. Part of the credit is also tied to a percentage of battery components being manufactured in North America.  Experts and industry players have indicated that these provisions — particularly the critical minerals piece — represents a high bar, and may hamper electric vehicle adoption in the short term.  August 4, 2022.

Carmakers say the climate bill sets impossible targets 8/3/2022

Carmakers say the climate bill sets impossible targets

Payne Institute Director Morgan Bazilian contributed to this article about how auto companies would qualify for electric vehicle tax credits only if they move supply chains out of China. The industry warns that could be too ambitious. The dispute underscores the immense challenge the United States faces in its effort to retake control of production lines at a critical moment in the energy transition. August 3, 2022.

Deep in the Democrats’ Climate Bill, Analysts See More Wins for Clean Energy Than Gifts for Fossil Fuel Business 8/3/2022

Deep in the Democrats’ Climate Bill, Analysts See More Wins for Clean Energy Than Gifts for Fossil Fuel Business

Payne Institute Faculty Fellow Ian Lange contributed to this article about how the Inflation Reduction Act’s provisions on electric vehicles, methane, industrial and agriculture policy add up to big greenhouse gas emissions cuts—if the bill can make it through Congress. At least three separate analyses by think tanks and academic institutions agree that the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 would cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions some 40 percent by 2030—within striking distance of President Joe Biden’s pledge to cut emissions in half.  More evidence of the legislation’s potential to ignite a clean energy transition can be seen in the reaction it has spurred among the most ardent keepers of the fossil fuel status quo.  August 3, 2022.

Payne Institute for Public Policy tackling ripple effects of renewable energy on mineral supply chain 7/14/2022

Payne Institute for Public Policy tackling ripple effects of renewable energy on mineral supply chain

The Payne Institute Supply Chain Transparency Initiative is studying, documenting journey for materials that are critical to clean energy transition.  Though increased clean energy should ultimately help slow the progression of climate change, it may also cause wide-ranging ripple effects around the world. The new Supply Chain Transparency Initiative at the Payne Institute for Public Policy aims to better understand these issues and, using Mines’ technical expertise, offer solutions for addressing them.  July 14, 2022.