"KINGS MOUNTAIN, North Carolina — The blue-green waters ringed by chalky white
cliffs could have been North Carolina’s answer to the Neapolitan coast. I
squinted through the pines at the shimmering lake far below and imagined diving
into the cool azure.
But there would be no swimming today. A rusty barbed-wire fence ringed the
basin, with signs reading “Danger: Open Pit.” The kudzu-carpeted hill I had
just climbed was made of rubble that had been scooped out of the lake before it
was a lake, back when the Kings Mountain mine and other nearby operations
produced more hard-rock lithium than pretty much anywhere else in the world.
Then the mines shut down and the mining jobs shipped overseas, like so many
other industries at the close of the 20th century.
The pendulum is swinging back now. The Biden administration is betting big that
renewing the American industrial machine will speed progress toward
decarbonizing the U.S. electric grid by 2035, a crucial step toward addressing
climate change. The White House also wants to use that clean electricity to
power mass transition to electric vehicles, thereby tackling greenhouse gases
Spurred by incentives in the Inflation Reduction Act, a whole new Battery Belt
is emerging in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio, down through Kentucky, and out
across Tennessee, Georgia and the Carolinas. It makes sense that those northern
states, the historic hub of the American auto industry, would attract billions
of dollars for the next wave of auto manufacturing. The region began dipping
its toes into battery and EV production over a decade ago, when then-Governor
of Michigan Jennifer Granholm picked it as a strategic growth industry to help
her state bounce back from the Great Recession."
Via Future Crunch
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics