American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • 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 can’t afford to wait. Spurring domestic production can decrease our reliance on China, enhance our national security, and potentially increase American exports. I am encouraged by recent stories indicating interest in reopening a long-shuttered California mine. A domestic source of rare earth elements could ensure that these vital resources serve the domestic market.

    With Congress mired in gridlock on many issues and partisan politics being kicked up a notch in this election year, it is encouraging to see that awareness of our rare earths (and other critical mineral)-related challenges is increasing on Capitol Hill, and that more Members of Congress from both sides of the political aisle are placing an emphasis on the need to step up domestic production of the critical metals and minerals we’re fortunate to have beneath our own soil.

  • 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 the geo-politics of Rare Earths.

    One key takeaway from the event was Green’s treatment of supply chain issues as rare earths move from mining through refining to fabrication into the sub-components critical to green-tech, high-tech and defense-related applications. Failure of the U.S. to develop capabilities along this chain will certainly loop us back into the foreign dependency we face today.

    The Rare Earths Caucus, coupled with the inclusion of language in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, tasking the Department of Defense with conducting a rare earths inventory assessment, suggest that this suite of critical metals is coming in for increased Congressional concern. Whether U.S. policymakers are seeing the bigger picture – potentlal supply disrpution of a dozen or more other critical metals – remains to be seen.

  • 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 [...]
  • ARPN Expert Commentary: Congressional Action on REE Policy is Needed

    ARPN expert Lisa Reisman has a very insightful post on her website “MetalMinerTM” this week. Adding her own commentary, Reisman discusses rare earth and specialty metals lobbyist Jeff Green’s take on the current public policy debate regarding rare earth metals and critical minerals, as well as related legislation in pending in Congress.  Below is an [...]
  • U.S. House subcommittee focuses on America’s resource dependency

    On Tuesday, May 24, 2011, I testified on behalf of American Resources Policy Network before the House Committee on Natural Resources’ Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, which held a hearing on the issue of “domestic minerals supplies and demands in a time of foreign supply disruption.” (Read my testimony here and watch my remarks [...]
  • Is Alaska the key to solve U.S. Rare Earths crisis?

    Recent decisions by China, the world’s leading rare earths producer, to tighten export restrictions and raise taxes have set off a flurry of global activity as nations are looking for ways to respond to these new realities. In the United States, policy initiatives aimed at securing an ongoing supply of these mineral materials are being [...]
  • Dear Congress: Metals and minerals matter now

    It is easy to pity the U.S. policymaker, who has more than a few crises to cope with, but America can no longer afford to push aside the critical issue of metals and minerals.  Decisions made now — or inaction, which is a decision in itself — will shape our economic competitiveness and national security [...]