08 Aug '11, 4pm

Forget China; largest rare earth element deposit is under this Nebraska town

Perhaps you've heard that China has a worldwide monopoly on rare earth elements , without which the high-tech and cleantech world -- electric cars, computers, cell phones, wind turbines, smart meters, advanced batteries, the whole enchilada -- would grind to a shiny, clanking halt. But now, instead of relying on Chinese imports to keep the rare-earth economy humming, we can destroy our OWN local environment! A small town in Nebraska has volunteered to be turned into a giant open-pit mine in the name of powering the post-fossil-fuel revolution. Elk Creek, Neb., population 112, could not be more excited to be sitting on top of potentially the world's largest deposit of rare earth elements. "It’s been a very, very positive experience for our community ... any time you have money flowing in a small town, that’s a positive," Nebraska State Sen. Lacon Heidemann told the Washingt...

Full article: http://www.grist.org/list/2011-08-08-forget-china-largest...

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