The American Institute of Physics (AIP) recently reported on the latest activities by the government related to critical materials. As I might have expected, progress has been halting and modest. The House did manage to consider a critical minerals bill (H.R. 1022) before its latest recess, but failed to pass it, perhaps due to members of the House who considered the bill harmful to the mining industry. Read the full AIP report for additional details. With this being an election year, what few Congressional working days remain will likely be filled with other bills, and maybe a budget.
Things are slightly better in the Executive Branch. There is an open comment period on a recent request by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). It closes on August 31. There is a subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council (which is coordinated by OSTP) focused on the strategic and critical minerals supply chain. They are seeking input from the public to help the subcommittee develop a methodology for identifying critical materials and monitoring their status. Ideally it would make it easier to predict shortfalls in these materials so that proper measures could be taken. The specific questions in the request focus on all aspects of the supply chain for critical minerals and the associated demand.
Comments can be sent electronically, but must be received by August 31.