By Amy Alonzo, Reno Gazette Journal

January 28, 2021

With the nation’s only operational lithium mine and a second, large-scale production set for spring construction, Nevada is at the forefront of the push toward green energy production.

However, the project has garnered seemingly unlikely critics as some conservationists are worried that mining the state’s extensive lithium deposits isn’t as “green” as some claim.

“There’s no such thing as impact-free mining,” Scott Lake, Nevada legal advocate for the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit group dedicated to preserving endangered species, said in an email. “While we recognize the need to develop renewable energy resources to address the climate crisis, we must not lose sight of the equally serious extinction crisis.”

The imperiled Kings River pyrg — a tiny snail — and greater sage grouse are endangered by the project, and another proposed lithium mine threatens the rare Tiehm’s buckwheat, conservationists argue.

“The idea that one solution must come at the expense of the other presents a false choice with serious, long-term implications for the future of the planet,” Lake said.

Nevada is one of more than a dozen states pushing for clean car standards within the next few years, and President Joe Biden is touting a $2 trillion clean energy plan. Both rely on lithium, a recyclable metal used to create rechargeable batteries.

Read more at The Reno Gazette Journal.

“We are concerned with the environmental impacts with what is being called ‘clean energy’ and some of the lies being touted with clean energy,” Falk said. “Clean energy is being touted as how we are going to save the planet, but as you look into it, the same sort of mining, deforestation and overuse of water is used in creating clean infrastructure.”