Lithium Mine-Nevada

This photo provided by the Center for Biological Diversity shows seven cows seen within subpopulation 1 of Tiehm’s buckwheat at Rhyolite Ridge in the Silver Peak Range of Esmeralda County, Nev., on Jan. 3. The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday announced a conditional loan of $700 million to an Australian mining company to pursue a proposed lithium project in Nevada as the U.S. seeks domestic supplies for a key component in electric vehicle batteries.

RENO, Nev. — The U.S. Department of Energy on Friday announced a conditional loan of $700 million to an Australian mining company to pursue a proposed lithium project in Nevada, as the U.S. seeks domestic supplies for a key component in electric vehicle batteries.

The move ups the ante in what’s already a high-stakes battle over President Joe Biden’s energy agenda and conservationists fighting to protect an endangered wildflower found only at the proposed mine site on a high desert ridge halfway between Reno and Las Vegas.

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