General Motors to partner on Salton Sea lithium production for electric vehicle batteries

Batteries are and will remain one of the largest cost drivers of electric vehicles. Lithium is a key battery material used in the cathodes and electrolytes of GM electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV. Lithium will become even more important in battery use as GM explores lithium metal batteries with a protected anode.

Salton Sea is key to CA's EV future, contains 1/3 of global lithium supply

The Salton Sea has the potential to meet 40% of global lithium demand, said Garcia, who authored AB 1657, the bill that established the Lithium Valley Commission within the California Energy Commission to explore strategies to develop the industry. 

Lithium is a key component of the lithium-ion batteries that power electric vehicles — “the oil of the clean energy future,” as California Energy Commission Chairman David Hochschild said during the hearing.


Assembly-member Eduardo Garcia held the first informational hearing on lithium opportunities at the Salton Sea. The Select Committee On California’s Lithium Economy was created just this year and today was an introduction on how our region could benefit from lithium recovery.

NBC Palm Springs has been following the latest developments at the Salton Sea and mineral extraction.

Will California’s desert be transformed into Lithium Valley?

The California Energy Commission has stepped in as an angel investor, doling out $16 million in grants to a handful of companies to determine if it’s technically and commercially feasible to extract lithium from the brine that geothermal plants are already pulling from deep beneath the Salton Sea area.

California Wants Its Imperial Valley to Be ‘Lithium Valley’

California officials, who have spent years studying the idea, don’t merely see Imperial County as a glorified mine. The lithium, they say, could become the foundation of a local market that could make the U.S. a force in a battery industry that China dominates. They want as many future jobs to be clustered in California as possible. They’ve even started using the name “Lithium Valley” to brand the idea. Because the lithium is there, they reason, why not make the batteries there, too, at factories powered by clean geothermal energy?

Gov. Gavin Newsom signs off on new commission to study Salton Sea lithium extraction

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Tuesday added his signature to a new law that orders the formation of a commission to study the feasibility of lithium extraction around the Salton Sea. Local politicians hope the commission will lead to the creation of a green economy around the state's largest lake, which is a geothermal hotspot.

It was one of several bills focused on California's environment that Newsom dealt with this week.

Mecca sports park secures $5.8 million in state funding, lawmakers announce

Mecca is among three communities in the 56th Assembly District that have acquired funding to develop or enhance their regional parks.

The proposed 6.7-acre sports park is receiving $5.8 million for development at the corner of Avenue 66 and Dale Kiler Road, next to the Mecca Boys & Girls Club lawmakers announced this week.

It will include a jogging path, exercise equipment, a covered picnic area, sports fields and lighting with public art.

Veteran of the Year Rascoe Lauded for His Dedication

If there were an official ambassador of veterans causes in the Imperial Valley, that person would likely have a hard time keeping up with the person who’s managed to become, more or less, the unofficial one in recent years.

That would be Tracy Rascoe, junior past deputy vice commander for California’s American Legion Area 5 and former commander of El Centro’s American Legion Post 25. Over the years, Rascoe has been a tireless advocate of veterans and patriotic causes.

Local Vet Honored With Award and Appreciation

Assembly member Eduardo Garcia presented the 2019 Distinguished Veteran of the Year award after sharing his excitement of presenting the award to more than one recipient this year. Representing several valleys makes the decision difficult, according to Garcia.

“It is my honor to recognize Tracy Rascoe, an exemplary patriot and pillar of our community, as our 56th Assembly District’s 2019 Veteran of the Year. After bravely answering our nation’s call of duty, Mr. Rascoe has continued to lead, and has dedicated efforts to improving the lives of his fellow veterans,” said Garcia. 

Assemblyman honors two local veterans

Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia celebrated two local veterans for their distinguished leadership and work in the community.

"Individuals who are not only serving the community but also focusing on veteran needs right here in the Coachella Valley," Garcia said.

Garcia held a recognition ceremony to honor Lauren Skiver and Edward Robles Wednesday at Veteran's Memorial Park in Coachella.