Pentagon should stockpile rare earth materials: Coffman

U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO), who sits on the House Armed Services Committee, is pushing the US Department of Defense for the establishment of a national inventory of rare earth materials.

“I support the procurement of such high-demand, at-risk rare earth materials to help fulfill Department of Defense (DOD) requirements and therefore reduce supply-chain vulnerability. By using the Annual Materials Plans as a vehicle, the Department can identify critical rare earth oxides, alloys, metals, or magnets, depending on what best suits DOD’s needs, and then fulfill a portion or the entirety of the associated requirements,” Coffman wrote in a letter to Ronnie Favors, the administrator of the DLA Strategic Materials.

“Such an investment would have the dual benefit of both providing much needed domestic demand for metal, alloy and magnets, while also providing enough rare earth material to serve as an ‘insurance policy’ for our national defense. Quite simply, a rare earth inventory plan could alleviate the rare earth issue for the Department while creating jobs and should be pursued aggressively.”

Almost a year ago Coffman introduced a bill to restrict exports of rare earth from China and increase production nationally.

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