WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Defense (DoD), and Department of State (DOS) executed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) that sets the foundation for a critical minerals stockpile to support the U.S. transition to clean energy and national security needs. The MOA formalizes an interagency partnership to acquire and recycle selected materials for technologies that range from grid-scale batteries to wind turbines. The agreement supports the Biden-Harris Administration’s climate goals of 100 percent –pollution-free electricity by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050, while ensuring continued access to materials needed for defense readiness, which requires a secure U.S. supply of critical minerals. Today’s MOA builds upon the key roles all three departments have played to develop diverse and secure critical minerals supply chains in recent years.
“American energy security and 21st century competitiveness hinge on a robust supply of critical minerals and materials,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk. “Recent analysis by the International Energy Agency made clear that the demand for critical minerals will increase by magnitudes as we accelerate towards a clean energy future. Today’s memorandum of agreement jump starts our efforts to further fortify our national defense and reduce the risks to the supply needed to achieve our clean energy goals."
The MOA will further strengthen international partnerships to expand critical material stocks for the precursors essential to deployment of clean energy technologies and enabling infrastructure. DoD, which manages the National Defense Stockpile (NDS), currently stockpiles critical minerals for national security purposes. The MOA creates a new, interagency process for stockpiling minerals that enable vital clean energy technologies.
“Energy storage is crucial to U.S. military capabilities and technologies like Lithium-ion batteries are creating new advantages for our warfighters,” said Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. “This MOA will help secure the mineral supply chain needed to ensure reliable production for national security needs. This joint effort will also support U.S. competitiveness in rapidly-shifting global energy markets.”
Additional efforts are underway to explore links between the stockpile and growing critical minerals initiatives under the International Energy Agency (IEA), where the U.S. Government is represented by the Departments of Energy and State.
Implementation of the MOA will also leverage DoD’s existing processes for modelling, analysis, and procurement, where all three Departments already cooperate in support of the existing stockpile, and endeavor to better integrate climate change and energy transition factors in the NDS’s composition. Notably, sourcing for the stockpile would also help spur demand for responsibly sourced and sustainably processed minerals, which is consistent with international efforts to promote sound environmental, social, and governance standards throughout the value chains for critical minerals.
“Building robust, reliable, and responsible critical mineral supply chains is a foreign policy priority of the United States. The Department of State is working with governments through diplomatic engagement and technical assistance to ensure critical mineral supply chains adhere to the highest environmental, social, and governance standards. This action will also reinforce our efforts to address the climate crisis and support clean energy transitions at home and abroad,” said Jose W. Fernandez, Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, who signed the MOA on behalf of the Department of State.