If there was ever any doubt that Texas could survive and thrive as an independent nation, recent developments in the area of Rare Earth Elements (REE) is a sure sign that it would. Along with many other natural resources and industries, Texas will soon possess the largest REE industry in the United States. The amount of REE deposits in west Texas, along with the creation and expansion of processing plants, could meet the needs of the entire United States.
REEs are essential in modern technology and national defense. According to Geology.com, many of the devices that people use every day contain rare earth metals and alloys, including computer memory, DVDs, rechargeable batteries, cell phones, catalytic converters, magnets, and fluorescent lighting. REEs are also used as chemical catalysts, in glass and ceramic production, polishing compounds, and in optical-quality glass.
REEs are also essential to our national security. The military uses many devices made with these elements, including night-vision goggles, laser range-finders, guidance systems, communications devices, lamps, monitors, data transmitters, precision-guided weapons, GPS equipment, batteries, stealth technology, and more. They are also key components in very hard alloys used for armored vehicles and projectiles.
According to our governor, Texas’ semiconductor industry is ranked number one in leadership and number two in employment nationally. This is largely due to the fact that the west Texas deposit in Round Top is the nation’s largest deposit of gallium — over 36,5000 tons of the element deemed the “highest priority” by the United States Geological Society (USGS). It is estimated that a new plant in Hondo will produce approximately 1,250 tonnes of NdPr every year. The combination of neodymium (Nd) and praseodymium (Pr) are used in a wide range of products, from computers to cars. (Texan)
Currently, the United States is dependent on China for 80% of its rare earth minerals. That not only subjects the US to great financial strain, but it also poses a great security risk should China decide to stop supplying the US with these critical minerals. The U.S. is so concerned about this that it has begun to invest and offer grants to those who mine and produce these minerals in Texas. According to CNBC, Lynas Corporation recently received $30.4 million in funding to build a light rare earths processing facility in Texas, with more on the way for Lynas and Blue Line Corporation to expand to a Heavy Rare Earth facility. The Texan states that the DOD signed another agreement to give $28.8 million to Urban Mining Company to assist with developing rare earth permanent magnets. It also promised huge tax breaks for companies and investors.
What does all this mean for an independent Texas? USA Rare Earth is a company that is developing the domestic supply chain for certain minerals that will generate an average annual net revenue of $395 million, with $26 million of that going directly to the State of Texas (The Texan). Not only does this mean revenue for the state, but also job production and income increases for the people of Texas. It also gives big tech companies a reason to come to Texas, spend money, and employ Texas workers. According to the Texan, “Tesla and Rivian are lining up to build their products in the Lone Star State,” and they will rely on Texas-produced lithium for their electric car batteries.
Why would Texas be better off without the United States? The United States has regulations and trade tariffs that other countries dislike. It recently imposed a 24% hike on a list of goods from China that is 196 pages long. According to the Texan, one editorial in the official newspaper of the CCP calls US decision-makers “selfish and arrogant” and that “Washington has completely overestimated its ability to manipulate the global supply chain.”
The US “decision-makers” have a history of this kind of behavior. However, as an independent nation, Texas would have the power to make good trade agreements without the bad judgment of the federal government. The Energy Act of 2020, Section 7002(c)(4)(A), says the supply chain is vulnerable to disruption due to foreign political risk, military conflict, and violent unrest, AND these critical minerals are essential to economic or national security. The Federal Register adds adverse foreign actions, pandemics, and natural disasters to that list of vulnerabilities.
China also said that it planned to use our dependency on these resources as a weapon against the US, according to Kite and Key Media. Disruption of the supply chain would mean lack of production of products used in energy production, defense, currency, agriculture, consumer electronics, and medical devices. This would have “significant consequences for the economic or national security of the United States.”
Along with REEs, Texas also has many other resources at its disposal to ensure its economic security. According to Daniel Miller, Texas has the 10th largest economy in the world. It is the largest producer of energy in the US, and ranks globally in the top 20 for agriculture, technology, and exports, while ranking 7th in coal reserves and 6th in wind energy production (TEXIT: Why and How Texas Will Leave the Union, 2018).
Texas needs to get out from under the regulatory constraints imposed by the federal government. These regulations alone caused a 17-year delay in the opening of a gold mine in Alaska, during which time the cost of building that mine increased by 49%. According to Kite and Key, the mineral deposit in west Texas alone could supply the U.S with 22 of the critical resources and all the rare elements needed. It just needs to be utilized.
If Texas had control of its own resources, it could ensure the security and production of these and other vital resources while increasing revenue for Texas and employment for Texans. Texas would not just survive as an independent nation, it would THRIVE.
For more information on TEXIT and its benefits on the economy, visit tnm.me/texit or read Miller’s book. To get involved in helping promote and secure the economic freedom of Texas, visit tnm.me for more information.