December 21, 2017

Manchin Applauds President Trump Executive Order on Critical Minerals

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) applauded President Trump for issuing an executive order to identify new sources of critical minerals – also known as rare earth elements - in the United States. Senator Manchin introduced the Rare Earth Element Advanced Coal Technologies Act (REEACT Act) in July to ensure the Department of Energy (DOE) office of Fossil Energy continues this important program, and authorizes and annual appropriation of $20 million per year through 2025.

“I am pleased that President Trump recognizes the vulnerability caused by our reliance on foreign imports of critical minerals,” Senator Manchin said. “The National Energy Technology Laboratory in Morgantown has worked to develop a domestic supply of critical minerals from coal and coal byproducts since 2011, and I look forward to working with President Trump to continue this important research that will protect our national security interests, and also help to give a much needed boost to coal country.”

Earlier this month, DOE announced that coal samples collected from several basins nationwide, spanning the entire coal supply chain, were found to contain high concentrations of rare earth elements (REE), a promising sign to the successful commercialization of coal separation technologies.

Senator Manchin’s REEACT Act will ensure DOE and its partners continue vital research into developing and commercializing the technology for domestic production of REEs from coal and coal byproducts – a critical step toward re-establishing a U.S. domestic supply for these products that will make our nation less vulnerable to potential supply disruptions.