Commentary

Non-partisan CD-2 congressional candidate Kidd wants to add ‘processing’ to Nevada’s ‘lithium loop’

By Ray Hagar, Nevada Newsmakers

Nevada is experiencing a push for a self-contained “lithium loop,” where the Silver State would be home to all stages of the process of turning the “white gold” ore into electric batteries for cars and other uses.

Nevada is well on its way to closing that loop but still has a way to go, said  Greg Kidd, a non-partisan candidate for Nevada’s 2nd U.S. House District seat. The investor/entrepreneur, running in Nevada for the first time, would push the “lithium loop” concept in Washington D.C. if elected.

“You’ve got both the start and the tail end of the dog there,” Kidd said recently on Nevada Newsmakers.

Advertisements

He was referencing the mining of lithium at Thacker Pass near Winnemucca and the finished product of electric car batteries at the Tesla Gigafactory in Storey County.

“The mining? It’s there in the ground. It’s going to come out,” Kidd told host Sam Shad. “And we’ve got companies that are focused on the recycling. We’ve got companies that are focused on the manufacturing. The piece that we’re short on is processing.”

That leaves the U.S. vulnerable because a lot of lithium processing remains on foreign soil, Kidd said.

Veteran Nevadan Journalist Ray Hagar is known for fair and tough reporting and invigorating commentary.

“Right now, today, that lithium that comes out of the ground is headed for China, for some further processing, or Japan and Korea, and then coming back,” he said. “(We need) to complete the lithium loop, something that (Gov. Joe) Lombardo and (former Gov. Brian) Sandoval have both spoken about.

“It’s four pieces,” Kidd said of the lithium loop. “It’s mining, processing, manufacturing and recycling. In a perfect world with good infrastructure here, we keep all of that right in Nevada. I’m 100 percent behind the lithium loop.”

Nevada should play a big part internationally in various forms of energy production in the future, Kidd said.

“When I am elected, I will catalyze Nevada’s lithium and geothermal power by putting our state at the center of the world’s energy transition,” Kidd is quoted as saying on his campaign web site. “Nevada should be energy independent and a leader in energy generation, storage, and transmission for the country and the world.”

Kidd will compete against Republican incumbent Mark Amodei in the 2024 general election. No Democrat filed to run for the 2nd U.S. House seat this year, which as been won by a Republican in every election since the district was established after the 1980 census.

Amodei, former chairman of the Nevada GOP and state senator from Carson City, has held the seat since winning a special election in 2011 against Democrat Kate Marshall.

Before that, Jim Gibbons of Sparks, later a Nevada governor, held the seat for 10 years. The venerable Barbara Vucanovich of Reno was Nevada’s first 2nd District representative.

Kidd, an investor/entrepreneur , is a newcomer to Nevada and is running for office here for the first time.

He made financial news earlier this month by investing $53 million in Vast Bank’s holding company, Vast Holdings, Inc., according to the Tulsa (Okla.) World. He is also to co-founder of the Hard Yaka investment firm.

Kidd said he wants to go to Congress “to get things done” and is critical of the current Congress for the lack of legislation it has passed for the American people.

“I think everybody knows that Congress we have right now is having a really hard time getting things done,” he said. “It is passing legislation at about 10 percent of the historical pace.

“I’m here to change that and get things done,” he said. “I’m running as a non-partisan, so I’ll be in a position to work with both Republicans and Democrats, really, just to get stuff done.

“And I’m a get-stuff-done kind of guy,” he adds.

If elected as a non-partisan, Kidd plans to caucus with both Democrats and Republicans.

“It depends of the issue,” he said about caucus choices.

“So, for some of the issues that I’ve been involved with — in financial services — the Republicans have been much more active in recent times,” he said.

“For many other issues, things like reproductive health choices for women, I’m definitely going to be caucusing much more with the Democrats, because they’ve taken a much more pro-choice view,” Kidd said.

Women’s health is a plank of Kidd’s platform and he references the overturning of the Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion by the U.S. Supreme Court on his campaign website.

“In the absence of a federal law, this civil right has been turned into a zoning issue,” he said on his website. “You can get an abortion in this state but not that one. This needs to be changed at the federal level. People should be in charge of their own bodies.”

More than 80 percent of Nevada land is owned by the federal government, various statistics show. The percentage of federal land ownership in Nevada is more than in any other state, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Kidd realizes how important it would be as a congressman to continue the work of transferring federal land in Nevada to local governments to stimulate growth and the economy. Yet he said he could only hope to match the productivity of Nevada’s current congressional delegation.

“I’ve got to be frank. As a freshman, I don’t think I can do a better job on the land bills than Amodei or other congresspeople,” Kidd said. “They’ve been doing a great job.”

Kidd continued: “I can’t b.s. you on that one. I can’t do better than the team that we already have there. I think they’re looking out for the state.”

Kidd also explained his billboards that read, “Free, Fair and Wild.”

“Well, ‘free’ as in freedom. ‘Fair’ as in a fair deal for everybody. Not just good for some and not for others. And ‘wild’ is really a tribute to Nevada’s heritage. Because this is a place that takes risks, knows how to manage risk.

“It’s probably the defining feature of this state,” Kidd continued.

He used firemen as an analogy.

“You know, when they see smoke, they run to a fire,” Kidd said. “And Nevada

has shown an ability to take on risk, manage it, and just build an amazing state.

“It is why I’m living here and why I’ve chosen to make this place home,” Kidd said. “I’ve lived a lot of places in my life, but this place is free, fair and wild, and I intend to double down on those three principles.”

Watch this episode of Nevada Newsmakers.

See the upcoming schedule for Nevada Newsmakers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *