STATE COLLEGE – During a recent hearing at Penn State, members of the PA House Majority Policy Committee heard testimony about the need to develop the critical mineral and rare earth element industry in PA. Critical minerals and rare earth elements are vital components of today’s technologies, including computer chips, smart phones and touch screens; medical devices and state-of-the-art defense systems; and alternative energy sources such as windmills and solar panels. The U.S. is 100% import reliant. Although China controls over 99% of the world’s production of heavy rare earth minerals and over 80% of the world’s production of light rare earth minerals, it also has a stranglehold over the processing as they are transformed into the actual metals that go into the final product. Testifiers added that solving the rare earth supply chain issue domestically requires us to address not only the production of such minerals, but the requirement to establish domestic downstream processing as well. In addition to the national security benefits, growing the critical mineral and rare earth elements industry would generate a variety of jobs. Testifiers believes PA can play a key role in the development of the industry and effort to gain independence from other countries.