by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
We have written for years about the hidden but manifold environmental dangers posed by electric vehicles (see a sampling below). These dangers are important to remember as people like Pres. Joe Biden and Gov. Roy Cooper try to incentivize or even force drivers into those cars because of their supposed environmental benefits. This week, NBC reported on yet another serious problem related to electric vehicles: “A mine that supplies nickel for the batteries that power electric vehicles is on the verge of a major expansion into a pristine rainforest”:
Nickel is a key component in the lithium batteries that power the vehicles, and there’s only one way to get it: digging up the earth.
“Nickel is our biggest concern for scaling lithium-ion cell production,” Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk tweeted earlier this year. …
[B]ecause the materials lie at the surface, as opposed to deep underground, miners must clear out a wider swath of land. …
In an interview, Hozue Hatae, a researcher at Friends of the Earth Japan, said the group launched the tests after conducting a 2009 survey with 133 households that found 85 percent reported experiencing an uptick in coughs and other respiratory issues, as well as skin lesions.
The group conducted annual tests on the Togpon River from 2009 to 2019, which found that in the rainy season, it exceeded the hexavalent chromium exposure levels used by the World Health Organization in determining the safety of drinking water.
Last month, the reporting partner for this story, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, conducted water tests along the Togpon River and the Kinurong Creek. Four of the seven samples taken at different points along the waterways showed levels of hexavalent chromium higher than the WHO standard for drinking water.
Multiple people who live near the area said in interviews last month that locals stopped using the river and the creek for drinking water years ago after the water developed a reddish hue.
We have discussed those problems here, however: