Increasing production of electric vehicles is boosting demand for the cobalt used in batteries. Forty thousand children mine cobalt for up to 12 hours a day under dangerous conditions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the United Nations.
A Republican congressman, Pete Stauber of Minnesota, proposed an amendment to the giant infrastructure bill passed by the House last week that would have reined in purchases of such cobalt. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out on July 1, only Democrats opposed it in committee. Wrote the Journal in its editorial, “The Green New Deal in Action”:
“The amendment, which the Transportation Committee approved last week 43-19, would have required the Commerce Secretary to certify that federally funded electric buses and charging stations do not use minerals mined or processed with child labor. All 19 opponents were Democrats.”
The Journal editorial added:
- “Democrats and unions have demanded that corporations, especially textile manufacturers, certify that their supply chains don’t source materials produced with child labor. “
- “Yet now they oppose requiring the federal government to do the same when funding renewable energy.”
What do you think?