American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • 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 Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, argue it has nothing to do with “geological impediments.” In a new op-ed for The Washington Times, they say: “[i]t is all politics.”

    Citing the latest USGS numbers, Moore and Mamula zero in on our nation’s mineral resource dependencies and retrace the root causes for our over-reliance on foreign metals and minerals.  Acknowledging some of the positive developments that have taken place in recent weeks, including the presidential Executive Order to calling for a federal strategy to ensure secure and reliable supplies of critical minerals, Moore and Mamula call for a change in strategy and philosophy in mineral resource policy:

    “We need a change in strategy and philosophy when it comes to mining. For federal land development, the 20th-century philosophy of ‘lock up and preserve’ needs to be replaced with an ethic of ‘use and explore.’ We have hundreds of years of these resources with existing technology. 

    China’s leaders have been known to boast that the Middle East has the oil and China has the rare earth minerals. But that’s false. We do. With a pro-mining policy, we can make America a mineral-exporting superpower, not an importer reliant on our adversaries. This strategy has worked like a charm when it comes to energy; it should be employed to yield the same America First results for strategic minerals.”

    Click here for the full piece.

    To read more from ARPN expert panel member Ned Mamula on current mineral resource policy issues, click here.

  • 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 has changed.

    According to the report, the total value U.S. non-fuel mineral resource production increased by six percent over 2016 in 2017 and now stands at an estimated $75.3 billion.

    On the resource dependency front, the findings of the report do not differ much from last year’s.  The number of non-fuel minerals for which the United States is 100% import dependent went from 20 to 21, but that increase is due to the inclusion of a new material, Nepheline Syenite, into the scope of the USGS survey.  And just like in 2016, the U.S. was more than 50% import-dependent for 50 metals.

    What has changed over last year, however, is the overall policy environment.

    With the issuing of last December’s executive order to promote domestic mineral resource production, which also calls on the Secretary of the Interior to devise a comprehensive mineral resource strategy, we have taken an important step towards alleviating our long-standing – and in many cases unnecessary over-reliance on foreign sources of supply.

    For good reason. Resource dependency figures may not have increased since last year, but from a historical perspective – as USGS pointed out in its landmark Professional Paper 1802 released in December of last year –  the number of 100 percent import-reliant minerals has increased from just 11 commodities in 1984.

    So while this year’s Mineral Commodity Summaries may not hold too many news – but the report serves as a critical reminder of how important it is to keep the momentum generated at the end of the last year going. Stakeholders must ensure that we get the development of a “comprehensive federal action plan to encourage domestic resource production, through mining, recycling and reclamation” right.

    If we do, we will be better off as a nation – both in terms of national security and economic well-being.

  • Event Alert: Resources for Future Generations (#RFG2018) Conference

    We have barely taken down the Christmas decorations, but stores have their Valentine’s Day merchandise out, and we’re already halfway through January.  It may feel that way, but it’s really not to early to highlight an event coming up in June – Summer will be here before we know it. So mark your calendars, ladies [...]
  • New Year’s Resolutions for Mineral Resource Policy Reform

    If you’re one of nearly half of all Americans, you will have already made a few New Year’s resolutions for 2018.   Among the most popular are personal betterment goals like “losing weight,” and “exercising more.”  While we’re all for making personal resolutions, at ARPN, we’re more concerned with the goals our policy makers are [...]
  • An Early Christmas Present? New Executive Order Calls for National Strategy to Increase Domestic Resource Development

    Only one day after USGS released its new report “Critical Minerals of the United States” – a study which underscores the United States’ over-reliance on foreign minerals – a new executive order directs Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to publish within 60 days a list of critical minerals to be followed by a report (after another [...]
  • 2017 – a Year of Mixed Signals: No Grand Strategy – But Some Signs We May Be Digging Out of Our Resource Dependency

    Amidst the chaos of Christmas shopping, holiday parties and travel arrangements, the end of the year is customarily the time to take stock of the last twelve months and assess where to go from here. Here is our recap of 2017: On the heels of a year that very much presented itself as a mixed [...]
  • Panelists at U.S. House Hearing Stress Dangers of America’s Growing Resource Dependence

    During yesterday’s oversight hearing on the subject of “Examining Consequences of America’s Growing Dependence on Foreign Minerals,” before the House Natural Resources Committee, panelists raised some of the key issues we have consistently highlighted on our blog. Panelists included: Mr. Ronnie Favors, Administrator, U.S. Defense Logistics Agency, Strategic Materials, U.S. Department of Defense Dr. Murray [...]
  • The Blessings Of A New World

    The following is a re-post from 2012: Today is American Thanksgiving – a celebration of the blessings afforded by our forefathers as they overcame adversity in a new land, laboring to obtain from the resources around them the necessities of life:  food, shelter, and warmth against winter’s cold. Since that first winter, the bounty of [...]
  • “Time to Start Digging, America”

    In a recent piece for The Hill, William Murray, federal energy policy manager, and Ned Mamula, associate fellow for the Washington, D.C.-based R Street Institute, lament that while policy makers and stakeholders are increasingly focusing on energy security issues, leaders are failing to pay “the same attention to a national security risk at least as [...]
  • National Mining Association Urges Focus on Deterioration of Domestic Metal and Mineral Supply Chains

    In a detailed letter to Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Dr. John G. “Jerry” McGinn, Katie Sweeney, General Counsel of the National Mining Association, urges the Department of Defense to “acknowledge the importance of domestic metals and minerals to meet our defense needs” as the agency moves forward to implement Executive Order 13806, “Assessing [...]