near tribal land.

approved a plan to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035.

Indonesia and the Philippines, releasing vast amounts of carbon dioxide before being refined in Chinese factories powered by coal.

Another source of nickel is a massive mining operation north of the Arctic Circle in Norilsk, Russia, which has produced so much sulfur dioxide that a plume of the toxic gas is big enough to be seen from space. Other minerals used in electric vehicle batteries, such as lithium and cobalt, appear to have been mined or refined with the use of child or forced labor.

With global demand for electric vehicles projected to grow sixfold by 2030, the dirty origins of this otherwise promising green industry have become a looming crisis. The Democrats’ new tax and climate bill devotes nearly $400 billion to clean energy initiatives over the next decade, including electric vehicle tax credits and financing for companies that manufacture clean cars in the United States.

New domestic high-tech mines and factories could make this supply chain more secure, and potentially less damaging to the global environment. But skeptics say those facilities may still pose a risk to the air, soil and water that surrounds them, and spark a fierce debate about which communities might bear those costs.

can leach out sulfuric acid and heavy metals. More than a dozen former copper mines in the United States are now Superfund sites, contaminated locations where taxpayers can end up on the hook for cleanup.

canceled leases for another copper-nickel mine near a Minnesota wilderness area, saying the Trump administration had improperly renewed them.

Talon Metals insists that it will have no such problems. “We can produce the battery materials that are necessary for the energy transition and also protect the environment,” said Todd Malan, the company’s chief external affairs officer and head of climate strategy. “It’s not a choice.”

The company is using high-tech equipment to map underground flows of water in the area and create a 3-D model of the ore, so it can mine “surgically” while leaving other parts of the earth undisturbed, Mr. Malan said. Talon is also promising to use technology that will safely store the mine’s toxic byproducts and do its mining far underground, in deep bedrock where groundwater doesn’t typically penetrate.

Talon has teamed up with the United Steelworkers union on work force development. And Rio Tinto has won a $2.2 million Department of Energy grant to explore capturing carbon near the site, which may allow the mine to market its products as zero emission.

estimates, the world will need roughly 20 times as much nickel and cobalt by 2040 as it had in 2020 and 40 times as much lithium.

Recycling could play a bigger role in supplying these materials by the end of the decade, and some new car batteries do not use any nickel. Yet nickel is still highly sought after for electric trucks and higher-end cars, because it increases a vehicle’s range.

The infrastructure law passed last year devoted $7 billion to developing the domestic supply chain for critical minerals. The climate and tax law also sets ambitious thresholds for ensuring that electric vehicles that receive tax incentives are partly U.S.-made.

has begged miners to produce more.

is home to deposits of nickel, copper and cobalt, which were formed 1.1 billion years ago from a volcano that spewed out miles of liquid magma.

Talon has leased 31,000 acres of land in the area, covering an 11-mile geological feature deep under the swamp. The company has zealously drilled and examined the underground resources along one of those 11 miles, and discovered several other potential satellite deposits.

In August, the company announced that it had also acquired land in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to explore for more nickel.

Talon will start Minnesota’s environmental review process within a few months, and the company says it anticipates a straightforward review. But legal challenges for proposed mines can regularly stretch to a decade or more, and some living near the project say they will do what they can to fight the mine.

Elizabeth Skinaway and her sister, Jean Skinaway-Lawrence, members of the Sandy Lake Band of Minnesota Chippewa, are especially concerned about damage to the wild rice, which Ms. Skinaway has been gathering in lakes several miles from the proposed mine for 43 years.

Ms. Skinaway acknowledges the need to combat climate change, which also threatens the rice. But she sees little justice in using the same kind of profit-driven, extractive industry that she said had long plundered native lands and damaged the global environment.

“The wild rice, the gift from the creator, that’s going to be gone, from the sulfide that’s going to leach into the river and the lakes,” she said. “It’s just a really scary thought.”

“We were here first,” said her sister. “We should be heard.”

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NASA Scrubs Monday Artemis Launch, But It Could Still Happen This Week

The 322-foot Space Launch System rocket was set to lift off Monday morning with three test dummies aboard on its first flight.

The maiden flight of the most powerful rocket ship ever built is on hold.

Launch director Charlie Blackwell Thompson called a scrub of the Artemis I launch attempt and the Space Launch System with the Orion spacecraft. 

The SLS rocket and the Orion capsule are part of NASA’s Artemis program to return astronauts to the moon and maybe Mars one day. But on Monday, Artemis couldn’t overcome problems on Earth. Lightning storms, leaking rocket fuel and trouble cooling one of the four main engines turned Monday’s launch into a bust.

“There are millions of components of this rocket and its systems, and needless to say the complexity is daunting when you bring it all into the focus of a countdown,” said NASA administrator Bill Nelson.

The SLS program was once canceled by President Barack Obama for being over budget and behind schedule, but Congress, including then-Sen. Nelson, brought it back to life. It reuses engines from the old space shuttle program and has never flown.

At the same time, private companies like Space X are going to the stars faster and much cheaper.

“Right now we’re seeing the last gasp as sort of the Apollo approach to building giant rockets, and meanwhile 1,000 miles to the West, Elon Musk can build his starship so cheaply that he blows them up, and he puts a blooper reel out,” said Keith Cowing with NASAwatch.com.

NASA says it is now going to figure out what went wrong.

“We’re gonna launch when we’re ready, and that’s our approach,” said Jim Free, NASA associate administrator. “There’s nobody that came wanting a launch more than our team that has worked on this. Everybody wants it to be successful.”

NASA says if the problems can be fixed, there is a chance Artemis 1 might still launch on Friday afternoon.

“We’re gonna play all nine innings,” said Mike Serafin, Artemis mission manager at NASA headquarters. “We’re not ready to give up yet.”

Even though NASA says Friday is still very much in play for a launch, as one NASA official put it, delays are par for the course.

Source: newsy.com

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