Ryan Kelley

IMPERIAL COUNTY — The County of Imperial announced District 4 Supervisor, Ryan Kelley, was elected vice-chair of California’s Blue-Ribbon Commission on Lithium Extraction, also known as the Lithium Valley Commission Thursday, March 25. 

The commission is comprised of 14 members representing specified industries, organizations, and communities. The commission is entrusted with analyzing and reviewing opportunities associated with lithium extraction and use in California. The commission was created through Assembly Bill 1657 authored by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia. A report on findings and recommendations for advancing lithium extraction from geothermal brines in California to the California State Legislature is required to be submitted by October 1, 2022.

Kelley was appointed to the commission by the California Energy Commission to “represent a local city or county government in the Salton Sea geothermal resource area.” He was elected as the vice-chair during the commission’s regular business meeting on March 25.

Interest in lithium is increasing thanks to its application in lithium-ion batteries, which are used to power portable electronics, electric vehicles, and other technology, according to the press release. Lithium is abundant around the Salton Sea area and has the potential to play an important role in the region’s future economic development.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to help lead this commission,” said Kelley. “I have been an advocate for lithium development for many years and am hopeful that we will see federal, state, local, and private interests converging on the development of a known resource for all our future needs.”

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