American Resources Policy Network
Promoting the development of American mineral resources.
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What Happened to the Commitment to “Shovel-Ready” Jobs?


At a time when the U.S. economy is still struggling, it is particularly troubling to see that real opportunities to foster job creation are being wasted by poor policy-making in Washington, DC.

As Forbes reports, Caterpillar Inc.’s mining segment is facing severe pressure from a decline in capital spending from mining industries, owed in part to global economic woes, but also significantly impacted by industry issues. The pressure is real, as evidenced by recent layoff announcements by Caterpillar for one of its U.S. mining equipment manufacturing sites.

Mining companies looking to invest in the United States are deterred by a rigid and onerous permitting framework, which has led to the U.S. being tied with Papua New Guinea on permitting delays in the instructive “Where Not to Invest” report issued annually by mining advisory firm Behre Dolbear. Companies like Caterpillar Inc., and other manufacturing sectors feel the impact. As the National Mining Association has estimated, “mining’s direct and indirect economic contribution includes nearly 2 million jobs with wage and benefits well above the state average for the industrial sector.”

Caterpillar’s woes show that a byzantine permitting process and EPA activist overreach radiate out through the economy, costing the U.S. jobs and GDP.

The mining industry’s contribution to the U.S. economy could be drastically increased if policy makers in Washington, DC were to overhaul its permitting structure, and in doing so foster an investment climate conducive to maximizing our vast mineral potential.