JOHN ADAMS: Mining ‘The Green New Deal.’
If these energy technologies are to be the ships, tanks and planes of this modern mobilization, consider what the American home front achieved during the war years. Author Victor Davis Hanson, writing on mobilization during WWII, observed that “American war production proved astonishing. At the huge Willow Run plant in Michigan, the Greatest Generation turned out a B-24 heavy bomber every hour. A single shipyard could mass-produce an ocean-going Liberty merchant ship from scratch in a week.”
At scale, this meant American industry provided almost two-thirds of all the Allied military equipment produced during the war. American factories produced 297,000 aircraft, 193,000 artillery pieces, 86,000 tanks and two million army trucks. In just a four-year period, America’s industrial production, already the world’s largest, doubled. No other country, ally or enemy, came close to equaling this effort.
America became a factory. Notably, U.S. resource self-sufficiency drove the engine of production. While oil, natural gas and coal proved essential to the effort, U.S. hardrock mines provided the critical minerals and metals needed for the dizzying array of materials required by the machines of war. America’s vast natural resources and our robust mining industries became the foundation upon which the mobilization could happen.
Today, the U.S. hardrock mining industry – absolutely essential to any green energy mobilization – is a shadow of the behemoth it once was. America’s vast mineral wealth still exists but hardrock mining has been the victim of adversarial policy that has pushed mining investment and production elsewhere. While complete self-sufficiency in this era of global interconnectedness is unnecessary, U.S. mineral import reliance is spiraling out of control, doubling over the past two decades.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. is now 100 percent import reliant for 18 essential minerals and 50 percent or more import reliant for another 30.
Given the modern Left’s hostility to any sort of domestic extraction industry, the Green New Deal looks just like every other attempt to “save” the climate: A massive transfer of wealth from the First World to the Second and Third.