American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
  • U.S. Chamber supports strategic metals bill

    United States Congress

    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 in our publications, one of the main points made by the Chamber in its letter of endorsement is the United States’ outdated and rigid permitting process, which the bill sets out to streamline:

    “Of the 25 top mining countries, according to the Behre Dolbear Group’s annual Ranking of Countries for Mining Investment Where “Not to Invest,” the United States is tied with Papua New Guinea for having the most mining permitting delays. As a result, the United States remains a major importer of strategic and critical minerals, despite having vast reserves, and has become increasingly dependent upon foreign sources for these minerals. H.R. 761 would reduce permitting delays while protecting the environment which would in turn increase domestic production of these much needed minerals.”

    Rep. Amodei’s legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year, but was not taken up by the Senate. With 57 co-sponsors having signed onto the legislation, this year’s bill already had more original co-sponsors than the final total number of sponsors of last year’s version, which may indicate favorable odds for its passage. The bill may hit the House floor before the end of this month, so stay tuned for updates.

  • National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act reintroduced

    U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei (R, Nev.) has reintroduced his critical minerals legislation. Identical to last year’s bill (H.R. 4402), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in the summer but stalled in the U.S. Senate, the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013 (H.R. 761) would:

    • Require the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture to more efficiently develop domestic sources of strategic and critical minerals and mineral materials; including rare earth elements;
    • Define strategic and critical minerals as those necessary:
      • (a) for national defense and national security requirements;

        (b) for the nation’s energy infrastructure including pipelines, refining capacity, electrical power generation and transmission, and renewable energy production;

        (c) to support domestic manufacturing, agriculture, housing, telecommunications, healthcare and transportation infrastructure; and

        (d) for the nation’s economic security and balance of trade;
    • Facilitate timely permitting process for mineral exploration and mine development projects by clearly defining the responsibilities of a lead agency; and
    • Ensure American mineral mining projects are not indefinitely delayed by frivolous lawsuits by setting reasonable time limits for litigation.

    The bill ties into the overall context of mineral resource security and our growing minerals deficit, an issue we have covered extensively in the past – most recently in the Wall Street Journal. Invoking a study we have frequently cited in our own publications -the renowned Behre Dolbear “Where Not to Invest” report – Rep. Amodei points out, that “[i]n the 2012 ranking of countries for mining investment, the United States ranked last in permitting delays,” and goes on to explain that “[d]ecade-long permitting delays are standing in the way of high-paying jobs and revenue for local communities. This bill would streamline the permitting process to leverage our nation’s vast mineral resources, while paying due respect to economic and environmental concerns.”

    Perhaps pointing to increased momentum and greater awareness of the seriousness of the underlying issue, with 28 co-sponsors having signed onto the legislation, this year’s bill already has more original co-sponsors than the final total number of sponsors of H.R. 4402 last year (27). It has been referred to the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on the Judiciary, where hearings are yet to be scheduled.

  • New Year’s Resolutions for U.S. Policymakers (Part 1)

    Traditionally, the New Year is the time when people reflect on the past twelve months and formulate resolutions for the months ahead. As the first hours of 2013 have been dominated by the drama the Fiscal Cliff, our Federal lawmakers may not have gotten around to focusing on other less publicized — but no less [...]
  • 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 [...]