Senator Padilla Introduces Legislation to Stimulate Lithium Recovery Businesses and Bring Green Jobs to the Imperial Valley
SACRAMENTO – Senator Steve Padilla (D-San Diego) today announced new legislation, Senate Bill 471, that would create a hiring tax credit for qualifying lithium recovery businesses, spurring local job creation, and stimulating green energy employment opportunities to the Salton Sea Region.
Due to rising demand of precious minerals for their use in consumer electronics and electric vehicles, the global lithium ion battery market is expected to grow from $40.5 billion currently to over $90 billion by 2030. The United States produces just 1% of the global lithium supply, but deposits in and around the Salton Sea in California’s Imperial Valley are estimated to hold as much as up to a third of the world’s current lithium demand.
As California and the rest of the world works to meet its climate goals and the growing demand for electric vehicles, global demand for lithium will reach over 2 million tons annually by 2030. California has the opportunity to become a global leader in lithium extraction, creating green future jobs in the state, and generating new revenue in an emerging market.
“I am proud to continue the push to produce lithium and manufacture batteries in the Imperial Valley,” said Senator Padilla. “The work we have done already is the reason so many companies are looking to the Lithium Valley to begin the next chapter in not only the region’s history, but set the state on a path to energy independence. This hiring credit is yet another step we can take to cement this community as the next leader in the clean energy space.”
The Salton Sea in Imperial County is a prime candidate for a new lithium extraction process called direct lithium extraction (DLE), where lithium is drawn from underground brine via filtration rather than through evaporation mining. Several companies have expressed interest in developing battery manufacturing facilities new extraction sites. SB 471 would create a tax credit for qualifying companies for an amount equal to wages paid to local workers, making it easier for companies to operate and grow as a critical part of California’s green energy future.
“Residents of the Salton Sea region deserve to benefit from the boom in development and green jobs that would come with future lithium extraction operations,” said Silvia Paz, Executive Director of Alianza Coachella Valley. “The workers hired thanks to this legislation will gain new skills in emerging industries, play a key role in California’s growing green economy, and earn livable wages that will create economic benefits at the local level.”
Steve Padilla represents the 18th Senate District, which includes the communities of Chula Vista, the Coachella Valley, Imperial Beach, the Imperial Valley, National City, and San Diego. Prior to his election to the Senate in 2022, Senator Padilla was the first person of color ever elected to city office in Chula Vista, the first Latino Mayor, and the first openly LGBT person to serve or be elected to city office. Website of Senator Steve Padilla: https://sd18.senate.ca.gov/