Biden administration eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve

Biden administration eyes step toward Trump-era proposal for uranium reserve
© Getty Images

The Biden administration will take a step toward establishing a reserve for uranium, a proposal pushed by the prior Trump administration that could boost mining of the mineral as well as nuclear energy potential.

Testifying before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday, Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmEnergy chief touts electric vehicle funding in Senate plan OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Western wildfires prompt evacuations in California, Oregon| House passes bill requiring EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Granholm announces new building energy codes Granholm announces new building energy codes MORE said her department would take a step this month toward establishing the reserve.

“We’re about to issue a request for information [RFI] regarding establishing a reserve,” Granholm said. “We are, I think this month, issuing an RFI on that.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Late last year, Congress provided money to establish the strategic reserve, which would buy U.S.-mined uranium from domestic producers, as one of many provisions in a major government funding bill.

Asked why the administration’s budget request for next year didn’t include funding for the reserve, Granholm cited the current funding for the project.

“It had been appropriated for last year so it’s carrying over,” she said. 

A 2020 Trump administration report endorsed spending millions on the reserve, which would aim to boost domestic mining. 

The concept is similar to that of the already existing strategic petroleum reserve, where the government can hold up to 714 million barrels of that fuel in case of an emergency. 

During her testimony on Capitol Hill, Granholm also promoted President BidenJoe BidenFirst lady leaves Walter Reed after foot procedure Biden backs effort to include immigration in budget package MyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News MORE’s infrastructure proposal, touting it as a way to boost low-carbon technology, among other things. 

"We need to be exporting technologies that can ensure a decarbonized future around the world and new need to deploy them here, which is why the American Jobs Plan has such a big commitment on demonstration projects ... both in carbon capture and in hydrogen," she said.