China provides 97% of the world's Rare Earth Elements (REEs). They plan to stop this (because of diminishing reserves?) by 2015. The United States has REEs, but does not mine them. They used to provide some, but stopped.
One resource is the ore, monazite. It is available right here in my home state of North Carolina. There are four varieties of this ore, each with a different combination of REEs. The most remarkable REE, in my opinion, is thorium. This is a radioactive element that beats the heck out of uranium as far as energy producing potential is concerned. There is some work proceding on the development of a Thorium reactor. It is going too slowly. Uranium reactors last as long as 60 years. Thorium reactors will last 100s of years. Thorium does not have meltdowns. There will never be a Thorium Three Mile Island. Thorium cannot be weaponized. It will never be made into a bomb. There are other sources monazite with thorium in other states of the United States, as well as other nations.
I think that the public needs to start prodding the development of using thorium for the production of electricity.