Dr. Dan Benishek (MI-01) today voted in support of the "National Strategic and Critical Minerals Protection Act" (H.R. 4402), a bill aimed at expediting American mineral production by reducing federal bureaucratic roadblocks to create new mining jobs.
"Mining has long been the foundation of Northern Michigan's economy and the creation of new mines in our area holds the potential for creating many good paying jobs. The First District is blessed with abundant natural resources. I believe we can responsibly utilize our mineral wealth to create jobs and grow Northern Michigan's economy," said Dr. Benishek, a doctor from Iron River and lifelong resident of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
The "National Strategic and Critical Minerals Protection Act" is designed to speed up the federal government's permitting process for our nation's mineral resources, including rare earth elements that are vital to job creation and American economic competitiveness. Due to lawsuits and government inefficiency, the current process of acquiring all government permits required for a mineral production project can take more than a decade. H.R. 4402 expedites this process by setting the total review process for permitting at 30 months and setting a 60-day time limit for opponents to file a legal challenge to a new mining project.
"Bureaucratic roadblocks and Washington's inefficiency should not stand in the way of economic growth in Northern Michigan or anywhere in this country. By eliminating federal red tape and speeding up the permitting process, we can allow mining to flourish in a way that protects our environment while providing good paying new jobs for Northern Michiganders," added Dr. Benishek, a member of the House Committee on Natural Resources.
The "National Strategic and Critical Minerals Protection Act" (H.R. 4402) passed the House of Representatives on July 12, 2012, by a vote bipartisan vote of 256 to 160.