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Invoking Defense Production Act Contradicts Federal Decisions Delaying Ambler Access

Apr 5, 2022

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy issued this statement on the Biden Administration’s use of the Defense Production Act to accelerate critical minerals development.

“I’m pleased to see President Biden recently put the Defense Production Act to work to accelerate our critical battery material development. He’s going to find Alaska is key to the electrification of everything. We’ve got graphite. We’ve got cobalt, manganese, and nickel — four of the five critical materials for batteries. In fact, Alaska has 29 of the 35 critical minerals listed by the federal government. This transition to tech materials driving the 21st Century — can’t happen without Alaska.

“For example, Graphite One is looking to develop its Graphite Creek deposit here in Alaska. The U.S. Geological Survey just reported that the deposit for Graphite One is the largest known in America.

“I fully support the President making the development of these minerals a priority in our nation’s interest. But the Biden Administration also needs to reconsider earlier actions it made to delay development of just such a resource of critical minerals: the Ambler Mining District. In February, the Biden Administration asked to reopen the Environmental Impact Statement for the Ambler Access Project. In March, the Biden Administration suspended the road right of way for it. Stalling development of the road to the Ambler Mining District is preventing access to the cobalt for the lithium batteries and the copper for the wires for charging stations. Beyond EVs, the Biden Administration ignores the gallium and germanium also at the Ambler Mining District that will be needed for the solar panels, smartphones, and computer chips of tomorrow.

“An emergency call for critical minerals makes it timely to reverse the recent and contradictory federal decisions on Ambler. Restore the road right of way. The Ambler Access Project is also in our nation’s interest. Allow it to lead to critical and vital resources.”