American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Bipartisan support strong for critical minerals reform

    In late January, I testified in support of S.1600 — the Critical Minerals Policy Act — before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Chaired by Senator Wyden and Ranking Member Murkowski. I focused on the lack of a clear definition of critical materials, on America’s inability to process many of the critical materials we actually have, the importance of materials research and development, and — a key issue for the manufacturing supply chain — the weak state of fundamental materials science education in the U.S.

    The Committee focused on the criticality of some materials, especially but not exclusively rare earths, to our weapon systems, and on the influence of China on availability of these materials. Written questions sent after the testimony have centered on ways in which the various federal agencies with interests in critical materials might actually work together toward improving critical materials availability. I’ve been involved in critical metals policy and research for a long while, and at a time when Congress seems to agree on very little, there appears to be strong bi-partisan support for the Critical Minerals Policy Act. Passage would be a strong sign that the U.S. Government understands that critical minerals access is key to our economic strength, technological progress, and national security.

    Dr. Latiff is Research Professor and Director of the Intelligence and Security Research Center at George Mason University. He retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Major General in 2006.

  • 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 [...]
  • U.S. Chamber supports strategic metals bill

    Bearing testimony to the fact that access to critical mineral supplies is a key issue for our U.S. domestic business and manufacturing base, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R, Nev.) “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013” (H.R. 761) Citing the Behre Dolbear report we have frequently invoked [...]
  • Foreign mineral dependencies cause “serious gaps in our armor”

    In a recent opinion piece for Politico, Brigadier General John Adams (U.S. Army, ret.) author of “Remaking American Security” and President of Guardian Six Consulting, and Scott Paul, President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, zero in on the national security implications of our mineral dependencies. Citing Hellfire missiles and night vision goggles as examples, [...]
  • New studies show focus on mineral resource security is finally increasing

    We’ve seen a flurry of new studies focused on mineral resource security over the past few months, an encouraging signal that the issue is increasingly getting the attention it deserves. While we would be remiss not to include our Critical Metals Report and our Gateway Metals Report, two of the more recent studies were released [...]
  • The case for REE independence from China

    In an opinion piece for U.S. News and World Report, Eric Hannis, senior fellow in defense studies at the American Foreign Policy Council, makes the case for U.S. Rare Earths independence from China. With China having flooded the market with cheap Rare Earths in the 1990s, thus pushing U.S. and other foreign competitors out of [...]
  • Legislator Seeks to Streamline Mine Permitting Process

    Amidst a slowly growing awareness of our critical mineral needs and the bureaucratic obstacles to harnessing our domestic mineral potential, U.S. Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-1) has introduced H.R. 4402, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012. As per the bill’s official title, it seeks to “require the Secretary of the Interior and [...]
  • British paper finds business more worried about mineral supply crunch than Eurozone crisis

    In this first full trading week of 2012, there is a lot of talk about what the year will bring for investors, manufacturers and consumers, with much of it revolving around the U.S. Presidential primaries and the Eurozone financial crisis. While the importance of these issues cannot be dismissed, the British daily The Independent reminds [...]
  • Our dangerous metals deficiency: DOE releases its new critical minerals strategy

    The Department of Energy officially released its 2011 Critical Materials Strategy, an update of last December’s inaugural report on metals essential to green-tech applications ranging from wind and solar power to EV batteries and CFL lighting.  Five metals made the critical risk quadrant for both the short-term (today to 2015) and medium-term (2015 to 2025); [...]