American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • 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 the United States’ Western frontier in the 19th century,” which preceded the California Gold Rush of 1849. And the law certainly sets the stage for future resource development in space. However, one should note that the commercial exploration of resources in space at this point in time is by no means viable.

    Meanwhile, Congress has failed to pass legislation that would facilitate the exploration of domestic mineral resources beneath our own soil, such as Congressman Mark Amodei’s (R-Nev.) National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act, for several years in a row.

    Rep. Amodei’s bill would streamline the permitting process for mining projects in the U.S., and could help provide our manufacturers with secure access to metals and minerals while reducing the risk of supply disruptions associated with an overreliance on foreign supplies.  It passed the U.S. House of Representatives this year, but its fate once again hangs in the balance in the Senate.

    The success of similar legislation sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska), the American Mineral Security Act of 2015, which was attached to a broad energy bill sent to the floor earlier this summer, remains equally uncertain, in spite of the fact that a new report underscores the problems associated with the United States’ notoriously slow permitting process.

    While it certainly makes sense to look towards the future, lawmakers, in devising policies for space exploration while failing to develop a coherent mineral resource strategy on earth, may be putting the horse before the proverbial cart.

  • Bipartisan critical minerals bill introduced in U.S. Senate

    A group of seventeen U.S. senators has introduced legislation aimed at addressing the United States’ mineral supply issues. The bill, titled Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2013, was put forth by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and the Ranking Member of the committee, Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), both of whom were joined by a bipartisan group of senators from mining states.

    Among other things, the bill would:

    • Require the Secretary of the Interior to maintain a list of minerals and elements designated as critical (no more than twenty minerals and elements can be designated at any given time);
    • Amend existing law to:
      • Establish an analytical and forecasting capability for identifying critical mineral demand, supply and other market dynamics relevant to policy formulation to allow informed actions to be taken to avoid supply shortages, mitigate price volatility, and prepare for demand growth and other market shifts;
      • Encourage Federal agencies to facilitate the availability, development, and environmentally responsible production of domestic resources to meet national critical material or mineral needs.

    Agency efforts should be coordinated to:

    • Avoid duplication, prevent unnecessary delays in the administration of applicable laws and issuance of permits and authorizations necessary to explore for, develop and produce critical minerals, and to construct critical mineral manufacturing facilities in accordance with environmental and land management laws;
    • Strengthen research and educational efforts
    • Foster international cooperation;
    • Promote the efficient production, use an recycling of critical minerals; develop alternatives to critical minerals; and establish contingencies for the production of, or access to, critical minerals for which viable sources do not exist within the United States.

    ARPN has long considered the need to secure a stable supply of critical minerals and reduce foreign mineral dependencies one of the most pressing issues affecting our economy and national security.

    At a time when Washington is mired in partisan gridlock, the fact that lawmakers from both sides of the political aisle realize this need, and are coming together to put forth this legislation is encouraging — especially, when it is lawmakers from the very legislative body where previous iterations of critical minerals bills have died a silent death.

  • “A case study in critical metals inaction” – ARPN’s McGroarty on Rhenium

    In a new piece for Investor Intel, our very own Dan McGroarty sounds the alarm on a little-noticed but troubling passage in the U.S. House-passed Defense Authorization Act for 2014.  Said section in Title III acknowledges the importance of Tungsten and Molybdenum powders, including Tungsten Rhenium (WRe) wire to a variety of Department of Defense [...]
  • America’s Mineral Resources: Creating Mining & Manufacturing Jobs and Securing America

    Testimony presented by Daniel McGroarty – Oversight Hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources Sub-Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources, March 21, 2013 Chairman Lamborn, my thanks to you and your colleagues on the House Sub-Committee on Energy and Mineral Resources for the opportunity to testify today. I am Daniel McGroarty, [...]
  • Mineral Resources and the Presidential Election

    American Resources Principal Daniel McGroarty addresses the issue of the United States mineral dependencies against the background of mounting Presidential campaign pressures in a piece for The Hill’s Congress Blog. Here’s an excerpt: When it comes to our mineral dependence, President Obama has talked about Rare Earths, talked about strengthening manufacturing, and talked about the [...]
  • Time for a “strategy to bring more U.S. minerals mining operations online”

    National Mining Association President and CEO Hal Quinn had a great piece in the Washington Times last week striking a tune that will be familiar to readers of our blog. Quinn argued that it’s time for the United States “to develop a strategy to bring more U.S. minerals mining operations online.” Here are some of [...]
  • Awareness of rare earths supply issues rising on Capitol Hill

    Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey (D) had a piece up on The Hill’s Congress Blog last week which highlighted China’s near-total rare earths supply monopoly and resulting challenges for our domestic industries. Among other things, it also called for increased domestic rare earths production. Writes Casey: While I hope to see quick action from China, we [...]
  • Rep. Coffman, Congress Launch Rare Earths Caucus

    On Wednesday, December 14, I attended the first-ever meeting of the Congressional Rare Earths Caucus. The brainchild of Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman, a leader on the issue of rare earths and resource dependency, the new caucus will push for rare earths supply chain.  The U.S. Magnetic Materials Association’s Jeff Green conducted the briefing, focusing on [...]
  • Will the U.S. Congress take on resource development regulatory reform?

    Those of us who follow how public policy impacts private-sector efforts to develop domestic mineral resources need to tune in to the current Capitol Hill debate on jobs and economic growth. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) recently introduced the Public Lands Job Creation Act, a bill that he says “will streamline the permitting process for energy [...]
  • Rep. Denham: “Exploring U.S. natural resources key to solving problems”

    In a passionate delivery on the House of Representatives floor, California Congressman Jeff Denham delivered a message about natural resources and American jobs. In his closing, Denham said, “We won’t solve CA’s energy problems or the nation’s job issue without addressing our natural resources.” Watch the short video below to hear his full plea to [...]