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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • McGroarty before U.S. Senate Committee: “Increased Resource Dependence Jeopardizes U.S. Economic Strength and Manufacturing Might”

    In his testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on “the Near-Term Outlook for Energy and Commodities Markets” last week, ARPN Principal Daniel McGroarty argues that while in the long-run, the market is self-corrective, there are certain actions that should be taken while we wait for that long-run to arrive if the U.S. wants to regain its economic strength and manufacturing might.

    McGroarty points to the risks associated with our growing – and largely self-inflicted – dependence on foreign-sourced minerals and metals which have “implications for the strength of the American economic recovery, for the revival of U.S. manufacturing might, and for the hoped-for dominance of U.S. ingenuity and enterprise in the advanced technology applications that we know are shaping the world of the 21s Century.”

    He argues that if the United States continues down the current path of reducing exploration spending while prolonging the already onerous permitting process for mining projects, resource development, and with that associated manufacturing, will move elsewhere.

    Outlining several helpful first steps to mitigate these risks, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) American Mineral Security Act, he concludes:

    “I don’t think there’s another nation in the world that can match American ingenuity.  We can pioneer the ideas behind wind and solar and so much else – but where will the materials that make these new energy sources real – where will they come from?

    How we answer that question will determine to a large extent whether the U.S. can regain its manufacturing might…  Whether America will lead the alternative energy revolution…  And whether the U.S. will have the metals and minerals we need to provide the modern military technology we depend on.” 

    Click here to read the full written testimony.

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  • U.S. Mineral Resource Dependency Continues to Spell Trouble

    For children, it’s the arrival of the first snow each year – for policy wonks, it’s the release of an annual study.  Whereas kids run to check the window multiple times a day once snow has been forecast, policy wonks continuously check for updates on the release of that study when it’s that time of the year again.

    While kids on the East Coast saw their wish for snow more than fulfilled, the release of the United States Geological Survey’s annual Mineral Commodity Summaries report this week was certainly less sensational.   A quick glimpse at the summary and one of the key charts reveals that aside from a now three-toned cover page, not too much has changed over last year.

    Not surprisingly, with the global commodities market slumping, the estimated value of total non-fuel mineral production in the U.S. decreased by 3% from that of 2014. Meanwhile, in terms of foreign resource dependence, which is something on which ARPN has kept tabs with the report, the number of minerals for which the U.S. is 100% import reliant has remained constant at 19.

    However, it is context and perspective that matters, and in that sense, another USGS study that is perhaps even more instructive than this year’s Mineral Commodity Summaries has gone largely unnoticed.   As the recently-released “Comparison of U.S. net import reliance for nonfuel mineral commodities—A 60-year retrospective” shows, 30 years ago, the U.S. was 100% foreign-dependent for 11 metals and minerals.  Today, that number has increased to 19. Meanwhile, we are more than 50% import-dependent for 47 minerals in all – nearly half of the naturally-occurring elements on the Periodic Table.

    As our very own Daniel McGroarty has argued in recent testimony before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, “(…) the risks are real – with implications for the strength of the American economic recovery, for the revival of U.S. manufacturing might, and for the hoped-for dominance of U.S. ingenuity and enterprise in the advanced technology applications that we know are shaping the world of the 21s Century.” 

    The current trend towards reduced exploration spending and increased time required for the mining permitting process is already sending production of key metals and minerals overseas.  Manufacturing tends to follow and set up where the metals are.

    McGroarty’s conclusion:

    “I don’t think there’s another nation in the world that can match American ingenuity.  We can pioneer the ideas behind wind and solar and so much else – but where will the materials that make these new energy sources real – where will they come from?

    How we answer that question will determine to a large extent whether the U.S. can regain its manufacturing might…  Whether America will lead the alternative energy revolution…  And whether the U.S. will have the metals and minerals we need to provide the modern military technology we depend on.”  

    As children in Washington, DC, are finally returning to school after the historic snowfall, and Congress is back to business, one would hope that our policy makers have used their snow days to carefully review the challenges outlined by the latest USGS reports.

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  • USGS Rings Alarm Bell: United States’ Mineral Resource Dependencies Have Increased Drastically

    Without fanfare, and largely unnoticed at a time when all eyes in our nation’s political circles are on Iowa, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has released a report that should be required reading for all our policy makers. Analyzing data collected from 1954 through 2014 for more than 90 non-fuel mineral commodities from more [...]
  • McGroarty/Reaugh: Time to Do Away with Uptick Rule to Unleash Canada’s Resource Sector

    The new year typically is the time for people to reflect on the preceding twelve months and make resolutions for the new year.  In an exclusive to the Vancouver Sun, our very own Daniel McGroarty, who serves on the advisory board of mining company American Manganese, joins ARPN expert and CEO of American Manganese, in reviewing 2015 as [...]
  • U.S. Forest Service Puts Damper On New Year For Wyoming

    What could have been a great start of the year for Wyoming’s economy and the United States’ critical resource needs had the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) done its job, feels more like a hangover thanks to the agency. As Laura Skaer, executive director of the American Exploration & Mining Association, writes for the Casper Star Tribune, the [...]
  • Lacking Critical Mineral Resource Strategy on Earth, Congress Passes Law for Space Exploration

    In what may be a prime example of not being able to see the forest for the trees, Congress has passed, and President Obama has signed legislation allowing for the commercial extraction of minerals and other materials, including water from the moon and asteroids. Some compare the move to “visions of the great opening of [...]
  • It’s Not Fairy Dust: Unleashing the Potential of American Manufacturing Requires Understanding of Underlying Fundamentals

    With the first primaries only weeks away, the Presidential campaign season is in full swing. As candidates continue to trade barbs on a broad variety of issues (and non-issues), the American electorate remains most concerned about the state of the U.S. economy. A “renaissance” in manufacturing has helped create jobs in a post-recession economy. However, [...]
  • Japan Pursuing Long-Term Critical Mineral Strategy in Kazakhstan

    In an effort to secure ongoing access to Rare Earths (REEs) for its domestic industries, Japan, which in geological terms does not have much of a resource profile, has entered into a series of cooperative agreements with Kazakhstan, a nation quickly ascending into the league of top REE suppliers in the world. The latest one [...]
  • Food for thought for world leaders discussing climate change

    This week, world leaders are gathering in Paris to push for an agreement on climate change, which could spell the end of the fossil era, and ring in the age of post-carbon technology.  In a recent piece for the New York Times, David S. Abraham points to an important, yet oft-ignored paradox: “(…) even as our leaders [...]
  • Will Congress Create an Economic Czar With Unchecked Power Over U.S. Mines, Pipelines, and Railways?

    While the Government Shutdown dominates the news channels and occupies the pundits, the U.S. Congress continues to conduct business with potentially far-reaching impact on the U.S. economy and national security. Case in point: Debate concerning H.R. 687, the Southeast Arizona Land Exchange and Conservation Act – a meticulously crafted bill that would allow a proposed [...]

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