American innovation impacted by mineral import reliance
April 19, 2012
Forbes.com published an op-ed yesterday by Gary Shapiro, presiden...
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), thousands of people descended upon Las Vegas to showcase and check out the latest in consumer technology, hardware, content and delivery systems.
The pioneering products introduced ranged in sizes and capabilities. Some were geared towards safety, like Nest Labs’ revolutionary smoke and carbon monoxide alarm. The many Gibson guitar walls and immersive gaming technology from Intel and Oculus produced chatter when it came to art and entertainment; while wearable tech took a stab at health and wellness with fitness bands from Sony and Razer.
Although targeted towards different industries, all of the products at CES had innovation and a “wow” factor in common. CES’ cutting edge products also share a dependence on minerals and metals, as they’re indispensable in the development, production and functionality of the technology we all regularly use.
Minerals and metals are essential, irreplaceable components of modern technology. The gold, copper and iron ore in the microchips in fitness bands, cellphones and virtual reality headsets, and the nickel and silver in a guitar’s body are just some examples. It would be hard to find an instance where metals or minerals aren’t crucial to size or speed in some way.
Minerals are essential to America’s manufacturing and a strong U.S. economy, which is why our policy makers must revisit our broken minerals mining policies. The United States’ duplicative permitting process is a deterrent to investors, jobs and, consequently, access to essential minerals we have here at home. Through the establishment of a sound domestic minerals policy, U.S. mining can lead the way to a more secure, prosperous and innovative future.