John Scire: Belief in climate change is good for rural Nevada
The facts of climate change due to global warming are indisputable. The only dispute is how much mankind has caused it, but 97 percent of the world’s climate scientists believe human CO2 emissions are accelerating global warming.
With the exception of the United States and Syria, every country in the world is trying to reduce its CO2 to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2016. Every car manufacturer in Europe has at least one electric car. Volvo is going to all electric and Mercedes is going to offer an electric version on all of its models. Scotland is going electric. China is building massive numbers of electric cars and scooters. And they all need electric batteries primarily made up of lithium.
The benefit to believing in climate change for all of the rural counties of Nevada is lithium mining is already bringing jobs. There are currently nine active lithium sites in rural Nevada according to the Nevada Mining Industry 2015 Report of the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology.
The Silverpeak lithium mine is the largest lithium mine in North America. Lithium Nevada, headquartered in Reno, is working on bringing a lithium mine into production in northern Humboldt County.
Clayton Valley, Dixie Valley, and Big Smoky Valley all have active lithium mining claims. And the Tesla Gigafactory has hired thousands of Nevadans to build lithium batteries for both powering cars and home storage of electricity.
It’s important for Congress to prevent the current administration from ending tax incentives for electric cars, solar power, and making buildings more sustainable (because many sustainable buildings use batteries to store power from their solar panels).
It’s in Nevada’s best economic interest to believe in clean energy using lithium batteries.
I urge Congressman Amodei and our two senators to get on the right side of history and do what’s right for Nevada’s rural counties and stop any reduction of government incentives for clean energy.
John Scire, PhD, is a U.S. energy policy instructor at the University of Nevada, Reno.