One of the United States’ first major forays into lithium mining seems like it’s going to be in the Salton Sea—one of the most polluted places in the country—after General Motors struck a deal with a mining company called Controlled Thermal Resources.
This is a big, and potentially very complicated, deal for anyone who cares about the planet. Many experts believe that in order to have any hope of staving off climate change, we have to electrify cars and essentially everything else as soon as possible (ideally, yesterday).
Lithium-ion batteries are key to this process, and global demand is expected to increase between 5 and 18 times over the next several years. Put simply, we will need a lot of lithium, and the overwhelming majority of lithium in today’s batteries comes from Australia, Chile, China, and Argentina. But the American southwest has huge stores of lithium as well.
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