A Rare-Earth Crisis?

Molycorp

Crushing facility for Project Phoenix at Molycorp.

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A somewhat obscure group of elements--the rare-earth elements--have suddenly become a political issue. Critical to the manufacture of high-tech devices such as smartphones, hybrid vehicle motors, wind turbines, solar cells, weapon systems, oil and chemical refining, and more, the rare-earth elements are increasingly in short supply and more expensive as these technologies proliferate. These elements are mainly produced and refined in China, which has recently warned of forthcoming export reductions due to increased domestic demand and restraints on production attributed to environmental concerns. In response to a perceived "rare-earth crisis," some analysts have called for restoring US domestic production of the rare earths, and for challenging China in the World Trade Organization. Others have suggested stockpiling and recycling programs. Join us for a discussion of the rare earths and the policy ramifications of their scarcity, geographic distribution, environmental impacts, and near-monopolistic market.
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About the Author

 

Kenneth P.
Green

 

Benjamin
Zycher

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Constitution as political theory

Please join us for the third-annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture as James Ceasar, Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, explores some of the Constitution’s most significant contributions to political theory, focusing on themes that have been largely unexamined in current scholarship.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 8:10 a.m. – Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 1:30 p.m.
Third international conference on housing risk: New risk measures and their applications

We invite you to join us for this year’s international conference on housing risk — cosponsored by the Collateral Risk Network and AEI International Center on Housing Risk — which will focus on new mortgage and collateral risk measures and their applications.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Speaker of the House John Boehner on resetting America’s economic foundation

Please join us as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivers his five-point policy vision to reset America’s economy.

Friday, September 19, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Reforming Medicare: What does the public think?

Please join us as a panel of distinguished experts explore the implications of the report and the consumer role in shaping the future of Medicare.

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