Rick Whitbeck: Biden telling America’s Miners they matter less than Canadians, Australians



You’d think the Covid-19’s supply chain issues might have been a wake-up call to America. You remember it, right?  Shortages of hand sanitizer.  N-95 masks and latex gloves nowhere to be found. Pharmaceuticals, disposable scrubs for frontline workers, and bare shelves where toilet paper and Clorox wipes once were.

America, as it always does, adapted.  Ford’s factories quickly changed from production of automobiles to ventilators. My Pillow started churning out masks and PPE. Breweries stopped making spirits and became suppliers of sanitizers. American lives were saved because of these responses to a crisis.

That was a year ago. America quickly paid attention to the fact that most of both our critical and day-to-day needs are not made domestically. China dominates the supply-chain, and logistics became exceptionally complicated and risky when China decided to flex its economic and political muscles on those items.

Now, in 2021, Covid-19’s stresses have – by and large – been reduced to back-of-mind status. With vaccines available to nearly everyone who wants them, we’re seeing a return to near-normalcy across the US.  People are traveling again. Office buildings are filling back up, with the daily hustle and bustle of businessmen and women spinning off good news for local dining establishments and support services.

But the threat of outsourcing critical industries has not diminished, especially when it comes to our energy industry.  Look no further than a recent story on President Biden’s plans to import much of the mineral, rare earth elements and critical minerals needed for his electric vehicles (EVs) mandate.  Why wouldn’t the President choose to mine in America, grow American jobs and build American wealth?  Why outsource those jobs to Canada, Australia, and yes, even Communist China?

The eco-Left often calls for a “just transition”- their lingo for that the shift from fossil fuels to renewable or “green” energy is somehow good or noble. Lost in this debate, even before we determine if green energy, wind turbines, solar panels, EVs are efficient, effective, or even “green”, is the dependence these technologies are on these rare earths and metals. Just as a combustion engine needs oil, the EVs need rare earths, and we will be getting them from China.  

We have rare earths in America. We have many of them here in Alaska, but the same green groups pushing for this “just transition” are preventing America from developing those resources. We shift the jobs, the revenue, the economic development to foreign countries, and, in the case of China, countries that are rife with environmental and human rights abuses.  Where’s the “just” part in this plan? 

There is nothing “just” about enriching our enemies. There is nothing “just” is sacrificing Alaska’s workers and Alaska’s recourses while rewarding foreign countries instead.  

If Joe Biden is going to push a green agenda, he should at least prioritize the American workers and American industry.  This could be Alaska’s great moment.  Instead, that opportunity will go to another country at our expense.

Rick Whitbeck is the Alaska State Director for Power The Future, a national non-profit advocating for energy workers, while fighting back against environmental extremism and the ideologues who fund radicalized efforts to thwart American energy dominance.  


  1. It’s obvious that Joe Biden was selected to be a shill for a small group of very nasty people who are trying to remake our country into something average Americans don’t want. Like the proverbial boiling a frog analogy, the water is now quite warm but, as always, we adjust to the temperature and soldier on. Short of a full on revolt, the great hope, though largely unspoken, is for a rousing Republican victory at the mid-term election followed by impeachment proceedings that rid our country of this vermin; both of Joe and his feckless and corrupt VP and we begin to recover from this disaster. No one who loves our country and who cares about our national security would do what these criminals are doing regarding giving other countries power over us through the supply of critical rare earth minerals.

  2. The Biden Admin is America last. Need I say more? Start at the very closest local point and fight this mess. School boards, GVEA, Borough government. Move up from there.

  3. Mines in the US not only make our supply chain more secure, they also boost the economy with good jobs and support for suppliers and local businesses. We also have the best environmental controls so why should we get our minerals from countries with often shady oversight on labor and the environment? We have the minerals but the current 10 to 25 years it takes to permit and put a mine into production is a major roadblock.

  4. Well spoken, who however has the stalwart presence and desire to ‘reeducate’ the left?
    Here again, clear, altruistic leadership is paramount.

  5. You know electric vehicle isnt any better than a gas guzzler. If these drivers driving their so called environment friendly electric vehicles were concerned for the environment, they’d save their money and buy a manual peddle bicycle, not having the extra machinery in their garage. Weirdos. They are just showing off their new electric vehicle thinking they are different than your gas guzzler. Hahaha. While you pay more at the gas pump, they have a higher electric bill. Hahahaha

  6. Excellent commentary! Yet the left willfully denies that China is heavily involved in “human rights abuses”, better known as MURDER, unjust, indefinite incarceration of people who disagree with the government, slave labor, illegal organ harvesting from their political opponents, and international theft of intellectual properties and technologies. So the left can’t, or won’t, make the connections between the need for independent capitalism and freeing ourselves from the grip of the Chinese Communist Party. Meanwhile the stability of our country is in serious jeopardy.

  7. Global warming and its advocates are the epitome of environmental radicalization. They are saying short term gains are worth more than long term environmental and climate preservation. Nothing could be more radical. Rick is an environmental radical activist. He is advocating for short term financial gain at the expense of long term environmental destruction. China etc. are merely distractions.

  8. The leftists and the democrats hate our republic, constitution and the people. They demand controlling power over the masses, they are the communists.

  9. Greg R, climate preservation? Whatever that is. We do know that China spews pollution without restriction and that this pollution makes it’s way to Alaska and shows up in Alaskan Watersheds as heavy metals. But your ok with that distraction?

  10. China is at the center of all this,ten percent for the Big Guy. After their virus attack on the world.

  11. Great article except that you forgot that the Trump administration killed the Pebble mine project by manipulation of the standing rules on wetland mitigation. Proving that the Corps of Engineers is nothing other than a political yo yo. In other words Pebble never had a chance. Setting a precedent that will be become a tool in the Anti Resource Development Complex, to sue to stop any future Alaskan mining development.
    “But Come on Man”, Pebble is where baby Trump went fishing. So for me R or D does not matter in resource development, even if is on State of Alaska land.

  12. KINGSLEY FINESSE No I’m not OK with that, but there’s little we can do about China right now. We all like our cheap, big screen TVs and pretty much everything else we buy from them. What we can control is what WE do. The economics of clean power will catch up to China sooner or later. In the mean time, it makes no sense for us not to continue to cut emissions. And the sooner we can get off the Chinese cheap stuff supply chain and start buying American, the sooner those jobs will come back here, and China will be forced to modernize it’s energy production. But your TV is gonna cost you more. So far, Americans have been voting with their pocketbooks.

  13. Greg R.
    You are missing the entire point, if you want to do something about China and their propensity towards long term environmental care, you stop supporting them. We have some of the most stringent environmental laws in the world, if you care for long term environmental care and preservation then you would support the most stringent environmental laws in the world being used to oversee mining in this country and you would stop supporting the lax or non existent environmental care and preservation of countries like China.

  14. Greg, not all Americans buy Cheap Chinese products and not all mind paying a little more for American goods. Speak for yourself.

  15. All the doctors in Haines hate mining and miners. They said so themselves to their newspaper. Bigots.

  16. Gibberish Joe owes too much to the Chinese Communist Party. The priority will be on China recovering their investment first then American workers and industry, if at all.

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