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Tonko, Graves Introduce Critical Material TRACE Act

Bipartisan legislation would support digital battery identifiers, adding transparency to global energy supply chains

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WASHINGTON, DC — Representatives Paul D. Tonko (NY-20) and Garret Graves (LA-06) introduced H.R. 8187, the Critical Material Transparency and Reporting of Advanced Clean Energy (Critical Material TRACE) Act, bipartisan legislation that would improve supply chain transparency by establishing a Department of Energy program to support the development, implementation, and adoption of digital identification systems.

“A successful clean energy transition requires an overhaul of the current battery supply chain in its many phases from material extraction and production to end of life processing and recycling,” Congressman Paul Tonko said. “A well-developed digital battery identifier and set of reporting standards would allow for the smooth transfer of relevant information between various stakeholders, including mining companies, manufacturers, recyclers, consumers, and regulators, while helping meet long-term goals for stable, secure, and ethical battery supply chains. Our Critical Material TRACE Act would deliver that robust battery identification system. I’m grateful to my colleague, Congressman Graves for partnering with me on this important legislation and urge Congress to advance our bill and help secure the U.S. as a leader on the global battery supply chain.”

“The United States is almost entirely reliant on foreign sources for critical materials and minerals, and it’s unfortunate that countries like China are dominating the battery supply chain given their questionable environmental and labor standards,” said Graves. “We know that demand for these materials and minerals will continue to rise, and it’s imperative that the United States be a proactive leader in ensuring that we source these materials while protecting our global environment, national security, and democratic values. I’m proud to work with Congressman Tonko on this legislation to advance transparency in the battery supply chain.”

By addressing and improving transparency, the Critical Material TRACE Act would help protect human rights and uphold high labor and environmental standards. With the ability to see where materials are coming from and going to, this transparency will not only help ensure that ethical and sustainable practices are being followed, but can also help identify and address challenges in global supply chains that may impact energy security.

The Representatives’ Critical Material TRACE Act has been endorsed by: the Advanced Energy United, Battery Materials and Technology Coalition, Circulor, Earthjustice, Earthworks, the Global Battery Alliance, Optel, SAFE, Sierra Club, Umicore, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

The Critical Material TRACE Act of 2024:

  • Establishes a Department of Energy (DOE) program to support voluntary digital identifiers for advanced energy technologies.
  • Requires DOE to support or develop digital battery identifiers, that include data on:
    • origins of battery materials, including those from foreign entities of concern;
    • information on recycling, reuse pathways, and end-of-life management;
    • certain chemical, diagnostic, maintenance, repair, and performance data; and
    • any associated human rights, labor, and environmental concerns.
  • Requires the DOE to lead robust external engagement, protect confidential business information, consumer privacy, and ensure compatibility with existing relevant standards and laws.

A fact sheet of the legislation can be found HERE.

Supportive statements from organizations can be found HERE.

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