Earlier this week, the full U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing to “examine the Department of the Interior’s final list of critical minerals for 2018 and opportunities to strengthen the United States’ mineral security.”
Panelists included representatives from USGS and the Critical Materials Institute (CMI) as well as industry stakeholders and other interested parties.
Below is a video of Committee Chairman Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s opening remarks:
While stressing that the issue of mineral resource security is not a new one, Sen. Murkowski outlined in clear terms why the United States Congress should give it its full attention, and take action to alleviate our ever-groaning over-reliance on foreign mineral resources.
Sen. Murkowski also called out those who fail to connect the dots, and fail to understand that, as we previously phrased it, “you need stuff to make stuff:”
“We have to get away from this ‘immaculate conception’ theory of your iPhone, fighter jets, solar panels, all these things just happen, they just appear out of thin air. We have to acknowledge the fact that many of the materials that are used to make them actually come from the ground. We have to dig them up, and that is an inconvenient truth for some.”
“I recognize that some are reluctant to address the main driver of this problem, and I look to our broken federal permitting system. But I believe that we can make some improvements, that we have to make improvements, and we must do this all while we are protecting the environment. The U.S. has the highest safety standards for mining anywhere in the world. We have the experience and expertise needed to do it right. We need to work on our workforce. We also live in a world where permitting delays and litigation deter investment in our country, so we want to speak to that.”
For the full list of witnesses and written testimony click here.