Maeve Boland at the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) passed along this notice that the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy has issued a Request for Information on Critical and Strategic Materials Supply Chains, with a deadline for submissions of August 31, 2014. [Photo credit, National Mining Association]
The RFI focuses mainly on the downstream side of things but Maeve offers that this would be a good opportunity to point out the importance of the upstream part of the supply chain, that we need geological research plus information on materials flow through the full life cycle of materials , and that new materials and substitutes don’t work if we don’t have the raw materials to make them.
Full information is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/07/22/2014-17192/critical-and-strategic-materials-supply-chains. Please pass on the RFI to anyone who might be interested in responding.
The summary in the Federal Register states:
The U.S. economy's requirements for raw materials have and will change over time, especially with the introduction of new products and processing technologies. Furthermore, as the global economy grows, there are increasing concerns regarding the availability and access to the raw materials that will be necessary to sustain U.S. economic growth and advance other national policies. As the criticality of materials shifts over time, studying the early warning signs and the underlying forces of potential material supply disruption can inform proactive policy development for emerging critical materials. One of the roles of the Critical and Strategic Minerals Supply Chain Subcommittee (CSMSC Subcommittee) of the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Sustainability is to develop a methodology for identifying critical materials and monitoring changes in criticality on an ongoing basis, providing “early warning” to policymakers and other stakeholders. The views of U.S. industry and other stakeholders are important to inform both an understanding of current conditions and the characterization of anticipated future demand for critical materials.