Everything that powers our modern lifestyle—electric cars, smartphones, even wind turbines—requires minerals extracted from the earth. Minerals are essential to green energy, national security, and consumer technology. The problem: the United States is largely dependent on other nations (especially China) for those resources–even though Alaska has vast mineral resources. As minerals become more essential to the modern economy, will the United States be held hostage by its reliance on foreign powers? It’s a possible outcome…but not an inevitable one.