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Lawmakers on Capitol Hill Zero In on Critical Mineral Supply Chain Security

The coronavirus pandemic has served as an eye-opener to many Americans with regards to our critical mineral resource dependencies. This, coupled with the green energy transition fueling vastly increased demand for a score of critical minerals, has prompted a flurry of activity in Washington, DC, as policymakers scramble to diversify our critical mineral sources away from China and begin the difficult work of building and strengthening resilient critical mineral supply chains.

We have already discussed some of the Biden Administration’s policy initiatives here, but, acknowledging the urgency of the situation, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have begun introducing legislation aimed at increasing critical mineral supply chain security.

The following is a brief overview of some of the bills that have been introduced, with more likely to follow.

H.R.1599 — Securing America’s Critical Minerals Supply Act, sponsored by Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI-6)

H.R.2604 —To improve the permitting process for critical mineral projects, and for other purposes, sponsored by Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN-8)

H.R.2688 —To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to permanently allow a tax deduction for the mining, reclaiming, or recycling of critical minerals and metals from the United States, and to support the development of domestic supply chains for rare earth elements and other critical materials essential to United States technology, manufacturing, energy, healthcare and advanced medical devices, broadband infrastructure, transportation, and national defense, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-TX-5) and Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-15).

S.1352 —A bill to improve the quality and timeliness of Federal permitting and review processes with respect to critical mineral production on Federal land, and for other purposes, sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

H.R.2637 —To promote the domestic exploration, research, development, and processing of critical minerals to ensure the economic and national security of the United States, and for other purposes, sponsored by Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL-6)

Several bills aim at curbing executive powers to restrict domestic mining:

H.R.543 — POWER Act, sponsored by Rep. Yvette Harrell (R-NM-2)

S.76 — POWER Act of 2021, sponsored by Sen. Cynthia M. Lummis (R-WY)

H.R.488 —Saving America’s Mines Act, sponsored by Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN-8)

H.R.859 —Protecting American Energy Jobs Act, sponsored by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO-3)

For more information on the bills, including full text, summaries, and status, click on the hyperlinked bill number.

We’ll be keeping tabs on legislative developments, so check back for updates.