Last week, American Resources principal Daniel McGroarty testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources Sub-Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources on the issue of “America’s Mineral Resources: Creating Mining & Manufacturing Jobs and Securing America.”
Commenting specifically on one of the bills pending in the committee, the ‘‘National Strategic and Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2013’’ (HR 1063), introduced by Congressman Doug Lamborn (R, Colo.), McGroarty stressed the importance of aligning the United States’ public policy with the goal of strengthening America’s resource sector against the backdrop of our – unnecessary – over-reliance on foreign mineral resources.
In his testimony, McGroarty highlighted three steps Chairman Lamborn’s bill would take to reduce our mineral dependencies, which include strengthening our assessment capabilities, eliminating duplication in the permitting process, and the requirement for a “National Mineral Assessment.”
Here’s an excerpt:
“The second key section in the Lamborn legislation concerns eliminating needless duplication in the mine permitting process – a process that today, in the leading independent study, earns the U.S. worst-in-the-world ranking, tied for last with Papua New Guinea, with the average mine permitting process in the U.S. taking 7-10 years. And this metric is getting worse, not better: Just 4 years ago, in 2009, the same study found the U.S. process took an average of 5 to 7 years.
And little wonder why. One day, the DoD releases a study showing 23 metals and minerals in potential shortfall, while the DoE declares a dozen minerals critical to the green-tech and clean-energy transition. But at the very same time the U.S. EPA moves to stop a proposed American copper mine – a metal whose short supply, DoD tells us, has already caused “a significant weapon system production delay” – before the permitting process has even begun.
So with so many mixed signals coming from the federal government, let’s ask ourselves: If you were an American manufacturer, dependent on metals and minerals engineered into your products, could you risk waiting for a reliable source of American supply? Or would you build your new facility where the metals are – in China, perhaps – exporting jobs and Intellectual Property, sacrificing GDP and feeding a negative balance of trade as we buy back products that could have been, should have been, made here in America?”
“The Lamborn bill is a solid test of our seriousness on this issue. If enacted, it would provide the fact-base for a data-driven assessment of our domestic resource potential, our vulnerability to foreign supply, and the obstacles that stand between us and a greater degree of resource independence.”
To read the full testimony, click here.