Democrats appear to be encouraging child exploitation by pushing a “green energy” system that involves the use of rare earth minerals, extracted in resource-poor countries using child labor.
Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), the ranking member on the Select Committee on Climate Crisis, noted the inconsistency of the Democrats’ talk of their “green energy” plans.
“This is the party when the cameras are on, they care about children, but when the cameras are off, they say that no one cares about child labor when we’re getting our electric vehicles,” Graves said, according to the July 27 Washington Examiner.
Graves’s remarks are relevant to the July 28 House climate committee hearing on “building a fair clean energy economy.”
The Democrats are seeking to address emissions in all sectors of the U.S. economy, aiming for zero net carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, and projecting the development of the Green New Deal.
Graves pointed out that producing so-called clean energy leads to “a point where you depend on rare earth minerals that come from supply chains controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and other less friendly nations.
On the issue of preventing the exploitation of child labor, which is often perpetrated on children in the countries where these rare earths are mined, Rep. Pete Steuber (R-Minn.) spoke.
Steuber introduced an amendment to the Democrats’ proposed bill asking not to use rare earth minerals mined or processed using child labor, but Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the Transportation Committee, which also includes Graves, rejected it.
DeFazio’s refusal, on behalf of the Democrats, to prevent the exploitation of children generated by the use of rare earths used for the generation of “clean energy” was titled “Democrats kill a child-labor measure for green-energy minerals,” by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
It called the project “the dirty little secret of clean energy” that involves the use of minerals such as cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel, and other rare earths from countries that exploit child labor, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Specifically, these minerals are used in the production of batteries for electric vehicles (EV) that are charged by plugging them into an electric power source.
In addition, the use of these energies would tend to increase dependence on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) where there has already been significant friction, as evidenced by the spread of the CCP Virus, which originated in China.
“We can’t be stupid to continue enslaving ourselves to China in terms of rare lands or renewable technologies,” Graves said.
The clean energy bill would represent at least $1.5 trillion in infrastructure spending that Democrats approved July 1 as “implementing the principles of the Green New Deal,” according to WSJ.
“The bill includes tax credits for renewable energy storage, subsidies for public school air conditioning, and solar panels in low-income housing and charging stations for electric cars. It’s a subsidy party for any industry that calls itself green,” emphasized the WSJ editorial committee.
Democrats recognize that rare earth supplies involve unusual complications.
“Many of these materials are in vulnerable or volatile supply chains,” according to a report by the Climate Committee Democrats.