California Approves Lithium Tax Despite Industry’s Warnings

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Sunset successful  the Salton Sea, seen from Bombay Beach, Calif., connected  March 15, 2022. (David Swanson/Reuters)

Sunset successful the Salton Sea, seen from Bombay Beach, Calif., connected March 15, 2022. (David Swanson/Reuters)

California connected Thursday approved a program to tax the electrical conveyance artillery metallic lithium to make gross for biology remediation projects contempt manufacture concerns that it volition harm the assemblage and hold shipments to automakers.

Governor Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, approved the taxation arsenic portion of a must-pass authorities fund connected Thursday. The authorities legislature had signed disconnected connected the levy during deliberations connected Wednesday night.

The taxation is structured arsenic a flat-rate per ton and volition spell into effect successful January. The taxation volition beryllium reviewed each year, and authorities officials person agreed to survey perchance switching to a percentage-based tax.

The largest American authorities sits atop elephantine lithium reserves successful its Salton Sea region, eastbound of Los Angles, an country heavy damaged successful the 20th period by years of dense pesticide usage from farming. Funds generated from the taxation are earmarked successful portion to cleanup of the area.

Federal officials person praised the area’s start-up lithium manufacture due to the fact that it would deploy a geothermal brine process that is much environmentally affable than open-pit mines and brine evaporation ponds, the 2 astir communal existing methods to nutrient lithium.

Two of the area’s 3 lithium companies warned the taxation would scare disconnected investors and customers. Both said they whitethorn permission the authorities for lithium-rich brine deposits successful Utah oregon Arkansas.

Privately-held Controlled Thermal Resources Ltd. said the taxation would unit it to miss deadlines to present lithium to General Motors Co. by 2024 and Stellantis NV. by 2025.

EnergySource Minerals LLC., besides privately held, said it halted discussions with imaginable financiers and an automaker.

“Supporting a taxation that ensures lithium imports from China are little costly for car manufacturers to unafraid volition devastate this promising Californian manufacture earlier it has begun,” said Rod Colwell, Controlled Thermal’s main executive.

By Ernest Scheyder