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Opinion
Conor Sen

U.S. Needs a Strategic Reserve for Green Energy

As the world moves away from oil, the government should stockpile metals and other commodities vital to the economy's transition to cleaner sources of fuel.

Nickel, another essential commodity mined from the earth, could use its own strategic reserve.

Nickel, another essential commodity mined from the earth, could use its own strategic reserve.

Photographer: Dimas Ardian/Bloomberg

The U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created to shield the nation from supply disruptions of a commodity essential to its economy. As the world moves toward greener sources of energy, wouldn't the same plan make sense for commodities vital to a smooth transition?

Creating a greener economy is going to require trillions of dollars of investment, and the U.S. government has an interest in setting policies that mitigate the pain of any booms and busts along the way. The Biden administration's use of the SPR to calm an oil market roiled by the war in Ukraine represents a blueprint that could be applied to other industrial materials needed for electric vehicles, batteries or solar panels — and the technology that goes with them.