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Voter concerns about US supply chain security

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased American voter concerns about the security of our domestic supply chain, and about voters’ own household bills, according to polling conducted by Morning Consult for the National Mining Association (NMA).

“Whether providing the raw materials for essential manufacturing, healthcare, energy and defence supply chains, or feeding the diverse electricity mix that ensures affordable, reliable power, it all begins with mining,” said Rich Nolan, NMA president and CEO. “With renewed focus on addressing alarming supply chain vulnerabilities, and bringing essential industries back home, it’s clear mining needs to be at the forefront of the nation’s policy agenda.”

In polling conducted for the NMA from 15 - 18 May 2020, 64% of voters said the pandemic has increased their concerns about securing our domestic supply chains with US-sourced materials. Despite being home to one of the world’s leading minerals reserves, cumbersome permitting processes contribute to the US remaining 100% import-dependent for 17 key minerals resources and 50% or more import-dependent for an additional 29 mineral commodities. Import reliance subjects our supply chains to geopolitical instability and supply chain disruptions, a problem that has been driven home by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Closer to home, nearly half of all registered voters (47%) also said the pandemic has increased their concerns about their ability to pay their household bills, including electricity bills. America’s diverse electricity mix has long been at the cornerstone of the affordability and reliability of its electric grid. In recent years, the US has seen misguided policies that are pushing well-operating, coal-fuelled electricity off the grid in favour new, subsidised sources of power and the infrastructure required to support them, the cost of which is often borne by the ratepayer. When the economy is doing well, affordable energy may matter less to people. But throughout this crisis, when Americans are losing jobs and businesses are struggling with basic cash flow – and as we eye the conditions essential to recovery – keeping electricity from spiking is even more important to voters.

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