California: New Report Highlights the Promise of Lithium Valley
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SACRAMENTO ~ California is on track to become a global hub for battery production and a leader in securing a clean energy future, according to a new report led by Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. The report estimates that there is up to 18 million metric tons of lithium available for extraction, which could produce more than 3,400 kilotons of lithium - enough to support over 375 million batteries for electric vehicles (EV).

Governor Newsom has been vocal about his commitment to Lithium Valley, visiting the area as part of his State of the State tour and joining President Biden and community, labor, and industry leaders last year to outline historic progress on sustainably developing lithium resources. He has also signed legislation directing $5 million to Imperial County to support Lithium Valley and signed the Lithium Extraction Tax Law - ensuring that communities are benefited by lithium extraction and are a significant part of the growing industry.

Since 2017, California has awarded more than $27 million to nearly 20 research projects related to lithium recovery from geothermal brines, processing of manufacturing grade lithium, efficient use of lithium in batteries, as well as other related research, planning and development efforts. In December 2022, the Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction in California (Lithium Valley Commission) submitted its report of findings and recommendations to the state Legislature. The report recommends accelerating transmission planning, improving permitting, and securing funding for infrastructure investments and economic development incentives to support industry growth and job training.

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California aims to produce lithium in a more sustainable way than nearly anywhere else in the world by relying on modern extraction techniques rather than harmful hard rock mining or other traditional tools of extraction. This could potentially meet all of America's future demand for lithium as well as one-third of global demand - supercharging the transition to EVs.

Governor Newsom commented on this news saying "We've been all-in on Lithium Valley, building up a global hub for clean energy and making sure that local communities benefit from this once-in-a-generation opportunity. This is further evidence that California is poised to become the world's largest source of batteries for our cars, homes, and businesses."

The new analysis estimates that more lithium is available for extraction than previously thought - an essential material for batteries that store clean energy, power electric vehicles, and more. This news positions California as an important player in securing a clean energy future with its potential global hub for battery production.

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