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The search for lithium for batteries focuses anew on California

The need to stop burning fossil fuels has us pointed toward a much more electrically-powered world.

Witness the commitment of the big automakers to going all-electric by the middle of next decade. That means we're going to need a lot of batteries, and at the moment, more batteries means more lithium. Which--like fossil fuels--is a finite supply on the planet.

Several different players, including the federal Department of Energy, are coming together to map out a lithium field near the Salton Sea in Southern California. The University of California-Riverside is one of the entities, and Michael McKibben is the former chair of the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

He visits with details of the project.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.