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American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • Trade Tensions Underscore Need for Mineral Resource Policy Reform

    While 2018 brought the inter-relationship between trade and resource policy to the forefront, this trend is continuing in 2019.  

    Last week, the White House announced sanctions on Iranian metals, which represent the Tehran regime’s biggest source of export revenue aside from petroleum.  The sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum and copper sectors represent the U.S. administration’s latest effort to pressure Tehran over its “funding and support for the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorist groups and networks, campaigns of regional aggression, and military expansion” in the Middle East.

    Iran may – thankfully – not rank as a top supplier for U.S. domestic consumers of the targeted metals.  However, these latest developments should serve as another reminder that securing domestic supplies of mineral resources should be a top priority.

    ARPN’s Dan McGroarty invoked Iran in his first testimony before Congress on behalf of ARPN in 2011:

    “Now, to be sure, we live in a globalized economy, and indeed — if the U.S. were to simply stop mining copper today – there are known copper prospects in a number of countries. We might turn to Chile, Peru and the Philippines for increased copper supply. Then again, world demand might be met via development of known copper reserves in Russia, Angola, Afghanistan, DRC Congo, or China – including decisions taken in Beijing to exploit copper reserves in the Tibet Autonomous Region. And there is copper in Pakistan and Iran. With the exception of Pakistan — rated “Partly Free” — all of the latter group are rated “Not Free” in the current Freedom House index. So while the world copper market does offer choices, we may well find many of those choices unpalatable from a policy perspective.”

    Removing obstacles to a greater degree of resource independence should be the order of the day, but while we’ve seen some incremental progress, efforts to make substantial changes to our nation’s mineral resource policy framework have in the past been largely derailed or put off.

    The current global race for the metals and minerals underpinning the EV battery revolution and green energy transition have reignited the debate, and new and revived efforts aimed at promoting domestic mineral resource development sponsored by Sens. Lisa Murkowski, and Rep. Mark Amodei.

    Here’s hoping that stakeholders see the current trade tensions and their implications as yet another reason to finally formulate a comprehensive mineral resource strategy. 

    In McGroarty’s words:

    “We cannot maintain our modern economy without a steady supply of metals and minerals. Those we do not possess here at home, we must source from other countries. But those we possess but choose not to produce perpetuate a needless foreign dependence – leverage that other nations may well use to America’s disadvantage.”

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  • Washington’s Mining and Resource Policy Agenda – What’s in Store for 2019?

    As we get back into the swing of things, a new piece for E&E News previews the anticipated 2019 mining and mineral resource policy agenda in Washington, DC. Here are some of the highlights:

    • With a shift of power in the House of Representatives, hard rock leasing and reclamation issues are expected to come up in May, which marks the 147th anniversary of the 1872 General Mining Act, with mining critics pushing for restrictions on mining on public lands and royalties imposed on mining companies.
    • Rep. Mark Amodei’s (R-Nev.) bill to streamline the mining permitting process, provisions of which were initially included in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act, but got stripped out in conference, is also likely to make a comeback this year.
    • On the Senate side, E&E expects Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to work to further her efforts on permitting reform and reducing the United States’ reliance on critical minerals, which she has previously incorporated into her broader energy reform package.
    • Meanwhile, with DoI’s Critical Minerals List released, stakeholders and policy makers alike are still awaiting the Department of Commerce’s report on how how to deal with DoI’s findings and how to reduce American mineral resource dependencies, as required by Executive Order 13817, issued in December of 2017.
    • As E&E reports, the Forest Service has already undertaken its own efforts to reduce mine permitting delays by issuing a “notice of proposed rule-making to update its review process for mines, known as Part 228” with a draft rule to update the locatable minerals regulations expected later this year.

    However, that is not all. To see what other issues can be expected to dominate the mining and resource policy agenda this year, refer to the full piece here.

    It’s going to be a busy year, and as we’ve outlined in our recent “2019 New Year’s Resolutions for Mineral Resource Policy Reform” post, other broader policy areas, such as trade, are becoming increasingly intertwined with resource policy, broadening the scope and implications of policy decisions. With the United States’ competitiveness and national security at stake, rest assured that ARPN will keep tabs on all these issues in the months to come, so if you haven’t bookmarked our site or aren’t following us via social media, now is the time.

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  • A “Dangerous Dependence:”  Mineral Resource Security Goes Mainstream

    In recent weeks, we have seen a flurry of articles and commentaries in national publications discussing reforms to address our ever-growing reliance on foreign mineral resources.  The two most recent examples are member of the ARPN expert panel Jeffery A. Green’s piece in Real Clear Defense entitled “Dangerous Dependence on China for Critical Minerals Runs [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • Green Energy Revolution Puts Copper in the Driver’s Seat

    At ARPN, we have long touted Copper’s versatility – its traditional uses, new applications and Gateway Metal status – but for those who still struggle to see more in Copper than your old school industrial metal, some visual help has arrived in the form of yet another impressive infographic from Visual Capitalist. The comprehensive infographic [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • 2016 – A Mixed Bag for Mineral Resource Policy

    It’s that time of the year again.  And as people are gearing up for the New Year, we are taking the opportunity to take stock of the last twelve months, and want to highlight a few select notable developments of relevance to ARPN followers. From a mineral resource policy perspective, we saw some positive developments [...]
  • 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 [...]
  • While U.S. is slow to even begin permitting reform, Queensland, Australia speeds up already expeditious process

    An overhaul of the approvals process in Queensland, Australia will cut the time it takes to issue an exploration permit in half, according to the state’s government.  The change applies to exploration permits only, and government officials are very clear that a granted exploration permit is not a right to mine. Nonetheless, the new process represents [...]
  • Arizona land swap bill emblematic of national mineral resource supply issues

    Having just passed and sent Rep. Amodei’s (R-Nev.) H.R. 761, the “National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013,” to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives may vote on a second important piece of legislation with wide-reaching implications for our mineral resource supply issues this week. After outlining the strategic importance of [...]

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