I've previously voiced my concern that the U.S. not trade foreign dependence on oil for foreign dependence on rare earth elements used in battery technologies. It's nice to know the Obama Administration was listening.
OK, so I can't take the credit. Nonetheless, it was good to see the Department of Energy's announcement recently of a $120 million, five-year-grant for a new research center devoted to rare earth elements. Located in Ames, Iowa, the Critical Materials Institute will be under the leadership of existing Ames director Alexander King who has expressed concern that the current demand is already outstripping supply.