Excerpt from popsci.com
The world and world leaders are working on turning away from gas powered mode of transportation and especially investing in electric vehicles (EV) as a solution to lower emissions. To keep up with the growing demand for electric vehicles, more lithium mining will be needed. Lithium is a metal used to make rechargeable electric vehicle batteries—but the extraction process is often tied to hurting underrepresented communities.
A lot of the world’s lithium currently comes from evaporation ponds in South South America and hard-rock mines in Australia, according to the Los Angeles Times. The extraction of the rare mineral is often met with fierce opposition from conservationists and Tribal Nations because it has often encroached on sacred indigenous land, especially in the American West. One drilling site in Southern California’s desert, near a notoriously polluted lake called the Salton Sea that spews toxic fumes and has a salinity level that kills off almost all of its wildlife, is taking a different approach to drilling for lithium.