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In Transit: ‘Lithium Valley’ Could Meet Entire U.S. Demand for EV Batteries

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Niland, CA - April 19: Brine pipes at Controlled Thermal Sources' Hell's Kitchen test facility near the Salton Sea in Niland, CA, on Wednesday, April 19, 2023.  (Photo by Jeff Gritchen/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

Australia, Chile and China are the top three sources of the world’s lithium – the element essential to build the batteries that power electric vehicles. But that could change as mining operations progress in California’s Imperial Valley. “Lithium Valley,” a vast underground reserve near the Salton Sea, contains enough lithium to meet all of U.S. future demand and more than one-third of global demand, according to the Governor’s office. We learn more about the project and its impacts as part of Forum’s “In Transit” series.

Guests:

Ethan Elkind, director of the Climate Program at the Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, UC Berkeley School of Law; podcast host, Climate Break

Eduardo Garcia, Assemblymember, representing California's 36th State Assembly District in eastern Riverside County and Imperial County

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