WASHINGTON, September 30, 2010 - The House on Wednesday approved H.R. 6160, the Rare Earths and Critical Materials Revitalization Act, by a vote of 325 to 98. The bill authorizes research to address the supply scarcity of rare earth minerals, a category of materials key to a wide range of applications in fields such as energy, military, electronic and manufacturing technologies.
Rare earths are necessary components of advanced technologies as wind turbines, hybrid-vehicle batteries, weapons guidance systems, oil refining catalysts, computer disk drives, televisions and monitors, compact fluorescent light bulbs, fiber-optic cable and other electronic goods.
“We must take steps to recapture our technological lead in a wide range of industries critical to our economic health, our national defense, and a clean and secure energy future,” said Committee on Science and Technology Chairman Bart Gordon, D-Tenn.
Bill author Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper, D-Pa., said: “We need to act now to begin the process of creating our own supply of rare earth materials so the United States is never dependent on China—or on any other country—for crucial components for our national security, adding that "We want to ultimately create a domestic supply chain of rare earths to promote U.S. global competitiveness and ensure technologies for our national defense and other industries are made in America.”