WASHINGTON, Oct. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- RARE, The Association for Rare Earth, today urged the creation of Senate and House caucuses to focus on the challenges of securing supplies of rare earth elements for the nation's high technology, clean energy, and defense communities.
The request comes in the wake of a Defense Department report released earlier this month warning of America's overdependence on foreign sources of rare earth elements (REEs).
In a request letter to members of Congress, RARE's president and board wrote that such elements are "critical to the production of virtually every high-tech and clean energy product and are fundamental to the national security of the United States. A secure and sustainable supply of REEs affects thousands of companies and millions of American jobs."
The letter urged the creation of the bipartisan caucus to "assist the REE community in navigating the rapidly changing and still emerging issues surrounding rare earths."
RARE Advisory Board Member Roger Ballentine, former Chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force in the Clinton Administration, said, "Important legislative work is already being undertaken on this issue, and much more needs to be done to ensure reliable access to these materials that are critical to our technology and clean energy needs." He cited House passage last year of the Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act of 2010, and a hearing focused on the subject last month in the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Adam Falkoff, President of RARE, said that the association looks forward to working with Congress and the Administration to develop bipartisan solutions. "We are seeing a growing awareness of the problem, and also a desire among many to put in place the policies required to grow domestic and foreign sources for these critical materials," Falkoff said.
In addition to Ballentine, RARE's board members include former Ambassador Stuart Holliday, former Ambassador to the United Nations for Special Political Affairs; John L. Howard, former United States Federal Environmental Executive; Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret), former Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator; former Congressman Thomas McMillen (D-MD), Chairman of Homeland Security Capital Corporation and an active Advisory Board Member of Clean Energy Systems; and John Paul Woodley, former Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works.
About RARE, The Association for Rare Earth. RARE is a bi-partisan organization that seeks to increase the environmentally sustainable production of rare earth elements; remove barriers to access of rare earth elements domestically and internationally; increase the affordability and trade of rare earth minerals; and increase the affordability and availability of technologically and environmentally advanced products made with rare earth minerals -- all for the betterment of people's lives and the environment in which they live. Find out more at www.rareearthassociation.org
CONTACT: Peter Mirijanian, Public Affairs, 202-464-8803, or firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE RARE, The Association for Rare Earth