Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22, 2021
(AUSTIN) — Many Texans go about their daily routines without giving much thought to the devices, technology and machinery that enhance and simplify their lives. Yet many high-tech goods and services we rely on for communications, work, education, safety, energy and transportation would be rendered useless without a group of materials known as rare earth elements.
In this edition of Fiscal Notes, the Comptroller's office is offering a brief primer on 17 rare earths that make advanced technology tick for both commercial and national security purposes. The U.S. relies heavily on importing rare earths from other countries, even as demand for them is on the rise. From 2016 to 2019, 80 percent of these minerals came from China.
“Recent developments in the private sector aim to create a domestic supply of rare earths right here in Texas,” Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar said. “In 2023, for example, USA Rare Earth LLC will begin mining rare earths on 950 state-owned acres in Sierra Blanca. Once fully operational, the company is expected to be the second in the U.S. to extract and the first to both extract and process rare earths. This major undertaking is featured in my most-recent Good for Texas Tour focused on supply chains.”
This issue of Fiscal Notes, released recently, also looks at craft breweries, distilleries and wineries in Texas and the growth they are experiencing despite setbacks from the COVID-19 pandemic. Craft beer, spirit and wine makers contributed $1.1 billion to gross state product in 2020. The industry currently employs nearly 5,400 Texans, and total employment in the state is growing twice as fast as the nation.
Fiscal Notes furthers the Comptroller’s constitutional responsibility to monitor the state’s economy and estimate state government revenues. It has been published since 1975, featuring in-depth analysis concerning state finances and original research by subject-matter experts in the Comptroller’s office.