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National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. LANKFORD. Madam Chair, I'm honored to rise in support of H.R. 4402, with my colleague Mark Amodei, and to support this.

This is about setting a definitive timeline for permits, which creates certainty and encourages private investment. This is not about government investment; this is about private investment. This is not about taxpayer dollars, but taxpayers. This is about jobs and the American economy.

Everything from your automobile to your iPhone requires rare Earth minerals. Every solar panel, every wind turbine, every electric battery for every car, every fluorescent light bulb, your UV glass, audio speakers, fiber optics, precision guide munitions, metal alloys, magnets, and a whole lot more all require rare Earth minerals.

We need to understand that China now controls the international market of rare Earth minerals, not because they have beaten us in the market, but because we have beaten us. We have the resources, but we simply made the permitting process so long, complicated, and unpredictable that we've killed our supply and allowed other Nations to control our future.

In my district, there is a magnet manufacturing plant that creates high-tech magnets dependent on rare Earth minerals. Last year, they were able to purchase a certain rare Earth mineral for $4 a pound. Now, with China as the only supplier, that is now $55 per pound. That drives up the cost of everything that we use those high-tech magnets for, and it's very difficult on the manufacturing industry.

We have allowed China to have the monopoly. We should have the ability to produce our own materials here.

You cannot turn on your car, your lights, your computer without China sending us the materials to do it. When we are fighting to get control of our energy future, we must not forget that it doesn't matter if we have our own energy future if we can't even turn on what we plug in because we don't have the rare Earth minerals to produce it.

We have a manufacturing future if we actually manufacture, and that means rare Earth minerals now in this modern economy. Jobs like mining, geologists, engineers, truck drivers, manufacturing, service industry, yes, even government regulators are all dependent on us getting moving on producing our own stuff.

Right now, as the price goes up, it's time for us to bring the price down with more mining.

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