The Associated Press says that environmentalists are threatening to stop two mining projects that are important to President Joe Biden's climate plan.
The AP said that environmental activists and native tribes are trying to stop the Thacker Pass and Rhyolite Ridge mines in Nevada. Both of these mines are on federal land. The ongoing legal and regulatory battles between mining contractors, government agencies, and conservation and native groups are making it hard for the Biden administration to reach its goal of making the U.S. run on renewable energy by 2035. This is because many of the administration's favorite technologies, like electric vehicles, need a lot of lithium to store electricity.
Documents show that in February 2021, the Western Watersheds Project, Basin and Range Watch, and Wildlands Defense, along with the "environmental justice" nonprofit Great Basin Resource Watch (GBRW), filed a lawsuit against the Thacker Pass lithium mine. They were joined by the "environmental justice" nonprofit Great Basin Resource Watch (GBRW).
“The reckless permitting of the Thacker Pass lithium mine sets a bad precedent for the energy transition,” director of Great Basin Resource Watch John Hader told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
“It will usher in an era of increased environmental destruction contrary to addressing climate change,” he said of the mine’s permits.
A White House press release from February said that Biden's plan for a cleaner future depends on more lithium being made in the United States. Lithium is a key part of the batteries that power electric cars. The International Energy Agency says that by 2030, the world will need six times as much of the metal as it did in 2020.
According to statements on the group's website, the groups say that the lithium mine will make toxic waste that will pollute the water. In their joint stipulation, the group and others say that government regulators don't do enough to look into the possible harms of such projects.
Last month, the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection upheld a contested water pollution control permit for the Thacker Pass lithium mine. This means that the mine's operation is still being challenged in court.
GBRW also says that local tribes don't want the mine there because it's on a sacred site on federal land, and the Bureau of Land Management didn't talk to them enough about this.
Another big project to mine lithium is also being built in the area. But the mine site is home to a rare desert wildflower that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) wants to protect by putting it on the Endangered Species Act list.
A press release from the Center For Biological Diversity says that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will soon make a decision on a case about building a geothermal power plant in an area where a unique toad that is now protected by the Endangered Species Act lives. Also, the building would be built near hot springs that Native Americans have used for prayer in the past.
A press release from the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management says that the FWS's objections to the geothermal project were ignored in November of last year.
When the Daily Caller News Foundation asked for comments, the Bureau of Land Management, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection did not answer right away.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on WND.