Oil and natural gas aren’t just fuels. They supply building blocks for pharmaceuticals; plastics in vehicle bodies, athletic helmets, and numerous other products; and complex composites in solar panels and wind turbine blades and nacelles. The U.S. was importing 65% of its petroleum in 2005, creating serious national security concerns. But fracking helped cut imports to 40% and the U.S. now exports oil and gas. Today’s vital raw materials foundation also includes exotic minerals like gallium, germanium, rare-earth elements, and platinum-group metals. For the U.S., they are “critical” because they are required in thousands of applications; they become “strategic” when we don’t [...]
CFACT senior policy analyst Paul Driessen questions the morality of greens who strongly condemn fossil fuels but wholly ignore the massive pollution and working conditions endured by those who mine the cobalt, rare-earths, and other metals that are necessary components of cell phones, computers, solar panels, wind turbines, and other so-called "renewable" resources. Driessen further touches on the hypocrisy of those who support only minimal economic development in Third World countries, and only what can be supported by wind and solar power -- while they ensure unsustainable, unconscionable poverty, disease, and death in poor nations.