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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Soon To-Be-Released Defense Industrial Base Study May “Revolutionize Approach to Supply-Chain Security and  Strategic Materials”

    A good year ago, a presidential Executive Order (E.O. 13806) mandated the completion of a study to assess the “Manufacturing Capacity, Defense Industrial Base, and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States.” According to a well-informed administration source, this defense industrial base study is now nearing completion, reports Breaking Defense.

    However, as Sydney J. Friedberg Jr. writes for the publication:

      “(…) the Executive Order 13806 study may come as a surprise: Instead of a sweeping agenda to restore America’s high-tech lead for future decades, the study will recommend near-term fixes to more mundane problems that could lose the US a war if one broke out tomorrow. From aging facilities to imported supplies, the defense industrial base is full of potential chokepoints in the supply chain.”

    One of the “chokepoints” to which Friedberg refers is the fact that “the US depends on imports for critical materials ranging from from beryllium to titanium sponge — many of which we buy from Russia, China, or the Central Asian ‘Stans.’”

    To underscore the urgency of the situation and the U.S. military’s very “real and present needs,” Friedberg invokes an image that may be familiar to ARPN followers. He writes:

    “Think of it in terms of the old nursery rhyme:

    For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
    For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
    For want of a horse the rider was lost.
    For want of a rider the message was lost.
    For want of a message the battle was lost.
    For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
    And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

    The E.O. 13806 industrial base study isn’t building any silver bullets for the US military (…) it’s about building nails.” 

    Our very own Dan McGroarty recently invoked the same image in a piece for Investors Business Daily, though his reference took us back to the 13th Century proverb “For want of a nail… the kingdom was lost” – as a cautionary tale that our often unnecessary over-reliance on foreign mineral resources may become our Achilles heel.

    Currently, the report is nearly completed but won’t be released for a while, and any specific policy recommendations will almost certainly be subject to lively debate.

    As the administration source told Breaking Defense, “(j)ust doing that analysis was a worthy endeavor, (…) [n]ow the policy question is, how many of those gaps that were identified does it make economic and strategic sense to plug? We’re going to have an interesting debate.”

    Jeffery Green, president and founder of Washington, DC-based J.A. Green & Company and member of the ARPN panel of experts, however, is optimistic. As he recently wrote on Twitter:

    “The coming Industrial Base E.O. study could revolutionize the approach to supply-chain security and #strategicmaterials. Stay tuned..”

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  • McGroarty for IBD: “Time to Make the Connection Between Critical Minerals and National Defense”

    “For want of a nail … the kingdom was lost”

    Invoking the old proverb dating back to the 13th Century as a cautionary tale and reminder that “the most sophisticated defense supply chain is only as strong as our weakest link,” ARPN’s Dan McGroarty argues in a new piece for Investor’s Business Daily that the time to make the connection between critical minerals and national defense is now.

    Against the backdrop of the House of Representatives having added comprehensive critical minerals reform language to the 2019 fiscal year National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), McGroarty makes the case that while opponents may suggest otherwise, there may in fact be no better vehicle for the provisions, because “ensuring that the U.S. does all it can to ensure the reliable domestic supply of defense-critical metals and minerals is about as germane to the NDAA as it gets.”

    McGroarty cites the recently finalized DOI list of 35 minerals deemed critical to national security as Exhibit A in the argument to attach the critical minerals provisions to the NDAA:

    - “16 of the 35 Critical Minerals appear in a non-classified defense study as ‘hav[ing] already caused some kind of significant weapon system production delay  for DoD.’
    - For 22 of the 35 listed minerals, China is either the leading global producer, leading U.S. supplier – or both.

    Connect the dots, and it’s clear the U.S. lacks reliable access to a wide range of metals and minerals critical to our military’s advanced weapons platforms — materials that in nearly two-dozen cases, we are sourcing from China, a nation that the 2017 U.S. National Defense Strategy identifies as presenting a ‘central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security.’

    That’s a five alarm fire bell when it comes to strengthening the raw materials supply chain in the U.S. Defense Industrial Base, and it’s all the reason Congress needs to include critical minerals language in the National Defense Authorization Act.”

    Click here to read the full piece.

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  • Mamula & Moore: Current Federal Policy Efforts Opportunity for “Huge Turnaround for Reducing Dangerous Mineral Imports Through Responsible Mining”

    In a new piece for National Review, geoscientist Ned Mamula, who is an adjunct scholar at the Center for the study of Science at the Cato Institute and a member of the ARPN panel of experts and Heritage Foundation senior fellow Stephen Moore offer up their take on the current – and long overdue – [...]
  • ARPN’s Daniel McGroarty Submits Public Comments on DoI Critical Minerals List

    Presidential Executive Order (EO) 13817 on a Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals, was issued on December 20, 2017. Pursuant to the EO, the Department of Interior, in coordination with the Department of Defense, was tasked with compiling a list of Critical Minerals within 60 days. The DOI List was [...]
  • Green: Over-reliance on Foreign Mineral Imports “Fiscally Foolish and Politically Dangerous”

    In a new piece for The Hill, member of the ARPN expert panel and president and founder of Washington, DC-based government relations firm J.A.Green & Company Jeff A. Green stresses the national security risks associated with our over-reliance on foreign sources of supply for key mineral resources. Citing FBI Director Christopher Wray, who recently told [...]
  • Visual Capitalist: Sec. Zinke’s Critical Minerals List Visualized

    Visual Capitalist has put together a great visualization of Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s draft list of 35 metals and minerals deemed critical to U.S. National Security. The list was released earlier this month, pursuant to Executive Order 13817 issued on December 20, 2017, “A Federal Strategy To Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of [...]
  • Mamula & Moore on Mineral Resource Policy: Time for a Change in Strategy and Philosophy

    “Why is the United States reliant on China and Russia for strategic minerals when we have more of these valuable resources than both these nations combined?” Stephen Moore, senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with Freedom Works, and ARPN expert panel member Ned Mamula, a geoscientist and adjunct scholar at the [...]
  • Perspective: Life Takes 30 Minerals, Your iPhone Requires 75

    It may not be brand new, but this video serves as a good reminder of  why the long overdue mineral resource policy reform debate now underway is so critical. Last Friday, pursuant to December’s Executive Order 13817, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke released his draft list of “35 Minerals Deemed Critical to U.S National [...]
  • New USGS Mineral Resource Commodity Summaries Report – An Important Reminder to Keep Momentum Going for Policy Overhaul

    Without much fanfare, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) released its annual Mineral Commodity Summaries report at the end of January. Followers of ARPN will know that we usually await the release of said study with somewhat bated breath. However, this year was slightly different, as the context in which to embed this year’s report [...]
  • ICYMI – Video and Supporting Documents for AGI Webinar on “Tracking the Global Supply of Critical Materials”

    Last month, the American Geosciences Institute ran a webinar entitled “Tracking the Global Supply of Critical Materials.”  Speakers for the event, which discussed “efforts to gather information and develop tools that can be used to ensure a secure national and global supply of mineral resources, and identify and quantifying vulnerabilities in this supply, among others,” [...]

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