Is the Salton Sea Hiding Enough Lithium to Power America?

As the world transitions away from fossil fuels, electric vehicles are becoming more ubiquitous. But despite their environmental benefits, they still have a price. The batteries that power them rely on a limited resource: lithium.

But some say California’s so-called “Lithium Valley” could be a vast powerhouse for the next century’s battery needs. A team of scientists is planning to map out deep-earth lithium to see if it can sustainably supply America’s insatiable demand for the element.

Biden Says Commercial-Scale Lithium Extraction Possible in Imperial Valley by 2026

As the Imperial Valley begins its transformation into what some are calling Lithium Valley, one company says it could have lithium production at commercial scale by 2026, President Joe Biden said Tuesday at an event with Gov. Gavin Newsom, industry executives, community representatives and labor leaders.

Biden met with the group to announce several investments in domestic production of critical minerals and materials, including lithium extraction in Imperial County.

In Search of ‘Lithium Valley’: Why Energy Companies See Riches in the California Desert

Standing atop a pockmarked red mesa, Rod Colwell looks out at an expanse of water that resembles a thin blue strip on the horizon. The Salton Sea, California’s largest lake, has come and gone at least five times in the last 1,300 years, most recently in 1905, when floodwaters from the Colorado River refilled its basin.

A mid-century resort destination, the lake has since become an environmental disaster zone.

EV Deal Shows ‘Lithium Valley’ Could Be For Real

If all goes to plan, General Motors Co.’s future electric cars will rely on batteries made from a broiling-hot, brownish fluid that gushes from the California desert.

The contours of that future emerged on Friday, when GM struck a deal with a little-known company called Controlled Thermal Resources (CTR) to supply the country’s largest domestic automaker with tons of lithium from a desolate area called the Salton Sea.

The arrangement is the first concrete sign that “Lithium Valley,” as its boosters call it — a green industrial ecosystem that produces zero-carbon electricity, battery-grade lithium and lots of jobs — could actually become a thing.

Welcome to Lithium Valley: One of the World’s Largest Lithium Deposits Is Located at the Salton Sea—and the Potential Economic Ramifications Have Drawn Comparisons to Silicon Valley

The story of Lithium Valley begins in earnest on Sept. 29, 2020. That’s the day when Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1657, sponsored by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, creating a “Blue Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction in California.” That commission is now called the Lithium Valley Commission. What is this all about? Oh, just the fact that up to 40% of the world’s potential future lithium supply is located under and near the Salton Sea.