The Energy, Minerals & Materials Program within the Center for Energy Studies is a crosscutting initiative to investigate materials supply chain challenges, and to share findings and recommendations with policymakers and the public alike. Our work spans the periodic table — including elements, minerals and materials key to economic attainment and quality of life — and emphasizes minerals and materials essential to both legacy and alternative energy applications. We include non-defense and defense needs and broader, non-energy industrial uses for overall context and to explore areas of market tension.
Our primary focus is on the elements — and the minerals from which they are sourced — that are most vulnerable to supply disruption and not easily replaced; their substitutes are difficult to produce and apply, and are expensive or nonexistent. This vulnerable group includes many elements and minerals that may seem common and widely available but have long histories of supply chain constraints and disruptions. We take a life cycle view, from extraction and processing to end-use applications to end of life, disposal and recycling of end-use components. The EMM program fosters development of research papers and briefs, public engagement through regular roundtable discussions and public events — including testimony before national and state legislators — and encompasses a number of domestic and international collaborations and partnerships. Our ultimate goal is to inform, educate and advise business and policy decision-makers as well as the broader public, especially as new technologies and pursuits push the global energy system envelope.
Michelle Michot Foss is the Fellow in Energy, Minerals & Materials at the Baker Institute, and leads the development of the Center for Energy Studies' Energy, Minerals & Materials Program. Her expertise ranges across energy fuels and non-fuel minerals, extractive industry operations, commercialization, supply and value chain dynamics, investment, and policies and regulations. She has nearly 40 years of experience in senior positions in energy (oil, gas/LNG, electric power) and environmental research, consulting and investment banking.