Stories by David Livingston

Expert Voices

U.S. minerals strategy aims to safeguard vital technologies

lab scientist coating a glass slide with indium
A glass slide being coated with indium tin oxide for use in a nanoparticle solar cell. Photo: Chris So/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The Commerce Department released on Tuesday an interagency report that identifies a list of minerals deemed critical to U.S. strategic interests and outlines an action plan to ensure their supply.

Why it matters: Securing these minerals and their supply chains is essential to leading the way on technologies that will enable the global energy transition, including cobalt and lithium for batteries, graphite and scandium for fuel cells, and indium and tellurium for solar panels.

Expert Voices

Carbon "tariffs" could trigger a collision of climate and trade policy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo

In a recent speech, French President Emmanuel Macron raised a proposal for an EU–wide carbon “tariff” on goods coming into the bloc from countries without a price on carbon — a way to lead by example on climate while still leading through advantage for industry.

Why it matters: The plan could prompt other countries to adopt carbon pricing in part to avoid disadvantaging their goods and services. In the best case, it could lead to a rapid increase in the amount of global emissions exposed to a carbon price, without creating excessively harmful economic distortions.

Expert Voices

New Mexico is the latest state to approve clean energy standards

New Mexico Governor Michelle Grisham
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

New Mexico Governor Michelle Grisham signed into law on Friday the sweeping “Energy Transition Act” (ETA), which commits the state to 100% carbon-free electricity by 2045, along with interim renewable energy targets.

Why it matters: Despite the fanfare and handwringing in Washington over the Green New Deal, carbon taxes and related measures with little near-term political tractability, improvements in state-level clean energy standards have garnered bipartisan support and made meaningful market impacts.