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A Huge Lithium Discovery That Economists Were Expecting

Tyler Cowen writes in Bloomberg about market signals driving mineral innovation.

The C3 Take
  • New reserves with an estimated 20 million to 40 million tons of lithium has been discovered at the Oregon-Nevada border.
  • If the estimated supply of lithium is accurate, this discovery will enable the U.S. to build out a supply of clean energy technologies without sacrificing national security.
  • The free market and price signals have pushed the private sector to find new lithium reserves and develop new ways to recycle and reuse metals to power clean energy sources.
  • To ensure that the developers can access these reserves of lithium, policymakers must pass meaningful permitting reform to drive innovation.

“Now about elasticity of supply, in which we economists tend to have more faith than do most people. Time and again over the centuries, economists have observed that resource shortages are often remedied by discovery, innovation and conservation — all induced by market prices. To put it simply: If a resource is scarce, and there is upward pressure on its price, new supplies will usually be found.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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