Saturday, February 18, 2012

Natural Resources Were Meant to Be Used!

By Rich Kozlovich

Sandra Wirtz, the Director of Research & Staff Blogger for the American Resources Policy Network sent this to me this week and I think it is worth exploring for a number of reasons, but mostly because it demonstrates an amazing mental attitude about utilizing the nation’s natural resources! She goes on to say;

Since you recently covered one of the critical mineral-related issues we at American Resources are focused on, I thought your readership might appreciate some insight into this week’s state visit from China’s Vice-President and the recent WTO ruling on China’s industrial metals export practices, both of which have reignited the debate over the country’s restrictive REE policies.

Rare earths were outside the scope of the WTO’s recent case with the Chinese government; therefore, the ruling didn’t touch on the set of 17 elements that we depend on to fuel our smartphones, tablets, and flat screen TVs. In spite of this, some have rushed to the conclusion that now China would be forced to change its REE export policies, too, as the Wizbang blog has also noted. As we point out on our blog, this is:
A. Not the case
B. Besides the point

As even if the WTO were to rule on REEs in the future, the chances of this affecting China’s policies in our favor would be slim, due to what American Resources Policy Network principal Daniel McGroarty calls “the limits of law in cases of sovereignty.” While not an official agenda item, as we’re being told, rare earths could find their way into the discussion during this week’s state visit – and McGroarty explains how.

The bottom line, however, is this: we need to get our act together on critical metals - as regardless of what the WTO has ruled or would rule in the event of a new case, and regardless of whether the issue will be touched on in the bilateral talks - we can't wait for China (and shouldn't assume that it would be inclined) to change its policies to suit our needs.

We can and we must shape our own strategic and economic future, and maximize our own mineral resource potential – and it is about time Washington created a framework conducive to doing so, rather than adding additional barriers to the responsible exploration and development of the mineral riches we’re blessed to have.
I have some questions.

Can a modern society lose its ability -through foolish regulations spawned by an irrational philosophy - to utilize its natural resources without destroying its industrial base? Can a society without an industrial base continue in a modern life style such as ours? Is there any difference between this and this whole resistance to oil exporation and production. (We havn't built a refinery in this nation since the mid 70's and about half of those have closed.) Can a society that has abandoned the concept of established industrial progress and resource use be a modern society without the good will of others? Do we really believe that good will exists? If it doesn’t exist…..what happens to that society?

Does the word dystopia mean anything to anyone?

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